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Chicken Pudding: A Historic Recipe, Reimagined

chicken pudding

I have a weakness for historic cookbooks. There’s something nostalgic about cooking the same recipe, the same meal that women cooked a hundred years ago, two hundred years ago.

The first book that got me hooked on historic cooking was The Virginia Housewife by Mary Randolph. Growing up in a 300 year old farm house in Virginia, I felt a kinship to Ms Randolph, and I could easily imagine her in my family home, cooking snapping turtle soup, or going to the root cellar for a knuckle of beef. 

These historic recipes also marry perfectly with my homesteading adventures. In 1860, when The Virginia Housewife was published, cooks had no other options but to use fresh, local, completely natural products and find delicious, inventive ways to prepare them.

chicken pudding

I’ve done my best to interpret Mary’s recipe for Chicken Pudding, what she fondly labeled “A Favourite Virginia Dish.” I cut back on the number of eggs (the original recipe called for 10!), and added a tad more heavy cream. I simmered a whole chicken in a quart of chicken broth, covered, in a dutch oven for an hour to use for this recipe, but any left over or canned chicken will do.
It is very rich, but at the same time light and fluffy. It’s a simple recipe to make if your chickens are being over-achievers and you find yourself swimming in eggs and can be made for breakfast, lunch or dinner!


  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 stick butter (ya’ll)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh “sweet herbs” (or 1 Tbsp each of dried herbs)
    • basil
    • oregano
    • sage
    • rosemary
    • parsley
  • 1-2 cups cooked chicken


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Melt the stick of butter over a medium heat. Add the herbs and stir continuously.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, and milk.
  4. Stir egg mixture into the butter.
  5. Stir in the chicken and bake for 45 min.

chicken pudding recipe

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Wednesday 21st of February 2018

I was wondering if this would be good to make into individual freezer meals ? Any idea if it freezes well after cooking ?

Lauren Dibble

Wednesday 25th of April 2018

Ooooo! What a great idea! I've never frozen it, but I have frozen quiches before with success, so I can't see why not! I'll give it a try and update the page! Thanks for the idea!


Sunday 29th of October 2017

Did you use an iron skillet to bake in? If so, did you warm the paninthe oven before adding the chicken mixture? Thanks.

Lauren Dibble

Thursday 2nd of November 2017

Hi Kathy! I do use a cast iron skillet, but I've never heated it up before adding the chicken mixture, but I bet it would make it easier to clean afterwards! I'll have to try that next time. Thanks for the idea!


Sunday 6th of September 2015

YUM!!! Trying this! Thanks for sharing.