791 Turkey or chicken patties*

Kotlety iz indejki ili kuritsy


  • 1 turkey or 2 chickens
  • 3 spoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ French roll
  • ½ glass milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 5–6 rusks

For the sauce

  • (¼ lemon)
  • (¾ wineglass Madeira)
  • ½ jar capers


Cut off the fillets from 1 turkey or 2 chickens, remove the membranes, and chop the meat fine. Add lb butter, less than ½ teaspoon nutmeg, salt, and ½ French roll, soaked in milk and squeezed out. An egg may be added as well. Mix everything together and pound in a mortar. Shape into small patties, dip in egg and rusk crumbs, and fry in 2 spoons butter. Arrange the patties on a platter and pour on the following sauce: Add the juice of ½ lemon and ¾ wineglass of Madeira to the pan in which the patties were fried. Add a few capers, dilute with 1 glass bouillon, and bring to a boil.

Or pour on a sauce made of field mushrooms or truffles.

Or, arrange the patties around the edge of the platter and fill the center with fresh or dried peas.

If the patties are being prepared for a large number of people, arrange them in two rows lengthwise down the middle of the platter, and pour on one of the sauces mentioned above. Serve various vegetables separately on another platter. Arrange them across the platter in diagonal rows, dividing each vegetable with a strip of pastry. Appropriate vegetables (zelen’)** are green beans, boiled potatoes with butter and greens, chestnuts, fried sausages, carefully cut carrots or turnips, etc.

Or serve with mushroom sauce, or with greens or root vegetables, etc.

Save the leftover bones and meat of the turkey or chickens to make soup for the next day.

*These patties are usually called Pozharski cutlets after the inn of that name which used to exist in Torzhok on the road from Moscow to Novgorod. Pushkin recommended them in a whimsical culinary guide that he wrote for his friend S. A. Sobolevskij in November 1826. (A. S. Pushkin, Polnoe Sobranie Sochinenij, XVIII, 302–303.)

**The English word “greens” has a more restricted meaning than the Russian zelen’. In this context, a better translation might be “garnishes.”