To Dress a Turtle

Preparation info

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

La Cuisine Creole

La Cuisine Creole

By Lafcadio Hearn

Published 1885

  • About

Method

Cut off the head and let it bleed well. Separate the bottom shell from the top with care, for fear of breaking the gall bag. Throw the liver and eggs, if any, into a bowl of water. Slice off all the meat from the undershell and put in water also; break the shell in pieces, wash carefully and place it in a pot; cover it with water, and add one pound of middling or flitch of bacon with four chopped onions. Set this on the fire to boil. (If preferred, open and clean the chitterlings or intestines also—some use them.) Let this boil gently for four hours; keep the liver to fry. While the undershell is boiling, wash the top-shell neatly, cut all the meat out, cover it up and set it by. Parboil the fins, clean them perfectly; take off the black skin and throw them into water. Now cut the flesh removed from both shells into small pieces; cut the fins up; sprinkle with salt, cover and set them by. When the pot containing the shells, etc., has boiled four hours, take out the bacon, scrape the shell, clean and strain the liquor, pour back in the pot about one quart, and put the rest by for the soup (Turtle Soup No. 2). Pick out the nice pieces strained out, and put with the fins in the gravy. Add to the meat one bottle of wine, one gill mushroom catsup, one gill of lemon pickle, cloves, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and one pound fresh butter rolled in flour. Stew together; take out the herbs, thicken with flour and put in the shell to bake with a puff paste around it. Trim with eggs.