Since Jon is such a fan of Abraham Lincoln, last year I researched what Lincoln's favorite foods were and made this meal for him for President's Day. It turned out to be pretty good and we did it again this year. This will probably make it a family tradition to commemorate our 16th President.
2 chickens (3.5-4 lb. each) or 5-6 medium-sized chicken breasts
3 Tb. butter or margarine
2 lg. onions, diced
2 lg. carrots, coarsely chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly sliced
4 bay leaves
6 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 tsp. dried thyme
3 Tb. flour
3 c. chicken stock
3 c. milk
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
Rinse and dry chicken pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Melt butter over stovetop and cook chicken pieces in butter, without browning. When all the chicken, set aside and add onions, carrots, celery, bay leaves and thyme in skillet to cook about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add stock, milk, and nutmeg. Increase heat to high, cover, and bring to a boil. Replace the chicken and cook for another 15-25 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
Chicken and vegetables can then be separated, with the vegetables/sauce served over rice or pilaf and the chicken on the side. Or, the chicken and sauce can be served together.
Mary Todd Lincoln's White Almond Cake
1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
3 c. flour
1 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped baking almonds (no skins)
3 tsp. baking powder
6 egg whites
Cream butter and sugar, sift flour and baking powder together 3 times, and add to butter and sugar alternating with milk. stir in nut meats and beat well. Fold in the stiffly beaten whits and vanilla. Pour into well greased and floured bundt or flute pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for one hour or until cake tests done.
Mr. Lincoln is said to have remarked that Mary Todd's white cake was the best he had ever eaten.