Ruth Brugh, Mr. Taylor’s mother, was an invalid throughout his childhood and he learned to cook in self-defense. Barbara Stanwyck, his first wife, had no interest in the culinary arts so he continued to prepare meals much of the time. Bob Taylor loved cookbooks and had a large collection. During his marriage to Ursula Thiess he continued to cook whenever possible despite her talent in the kitchen. His technique was to read a number of recipes for similar dishes and then create his own. The following recipe appeared in the Milwaukee Journal on April 2, 1961. I haven’t tried it (my husband cooks, I microwave) but if anyone does, please let me know how it comes out. I’ve made an effort to copy it accurately but no guarantees.
Robert Taylor’s Chicken in Cider
2 breasts and 2 whole legs of chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 cups cider
1 1/2 cups stewed tomatoes
1/2 bay leaf
1 tablespoon combined marjoram, parsley, sage, rosemary and monosodium glutamate
Salt and pepper
Parboil chicken pieces for 10 minutes. Cool. Remove skin. Dredge in combined 1/4 cup flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoons of the butter in skillet. Add chicken onion. Saute until chicken is golden brown on both sides. Arrange chicken in greased casserole.
Melt remaining two tablespoons butter in saucepan. Blend in the 1/3 cup flour. Add cider. Cook, stirring over low heat until thickened and smooth. Add stewed tomato, bay leaf and seasonings; bring to a boil. Season to taste. Pour sauce over chicken. Cover. Bake at 300 degrees F until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Uncover the last 30 minutes. Yield: 8 portions.