Chafing Dish - Defined with Recipes

Chafing Dish—A vessel heated from the underneath by a spirit lamp, also by electricity; is used for keeping and serving foods hot, or cooking on the table; for recipes, see "Chafing Dish Cookery" in the "CHEF'S REMINDER".

These are small utensils made of tin, copper, nickel, or silver, arranged in a frame and heated by alcohol lamps. The better forms are supplied with an under hot-water pan and are very useful for cooking milk or cream dishes that might be easily overheated if cooked directly over a Harne.

Formerly, a chafing-dish was a shallow saucepan used over a small portable charcoal furnace, principally for keeping things hot. At present such light dishes as melted cheese, Welsh rabbit, creamed chicken, sweetbreads, lobster à la Newburg, are often prepared at the table in a chafing-dish.

Venison, breasts of birds, tenderloin of beef, and mushrooms are easily cooked at the table and much better served, directly from a hot dish. Cold boiled potatoes, peas, and string beans are easily warmed in cream sauce made in the chafing-dish.

Chafing Dish Recipes


Take the breast of a nice chicken which has previously been boiled in a good spiced chicken stock. Cut in julienne (shreds) ten ounces of breast, three ounces of fresh mushrooms, washed, cooked and shredded like the chicken, one green pepper washed and cleaned of its seeds, cut in fine shreds and smother in butter without obtaining color.

Put all these ingredients in a sauce pan, moisten with a little fresh mushroom and chicken stock and heat all together. Then pour to their height with sauce supreme and boil for about three minutes, season to taste, dress in chafing dish, garnish the top with a small tender heart or bottom of an artichoke previously heated in butter and serve hot.


Take two live lobsters weighing about two pounds each; boil in salt water with a few spices for about twenty minutes. When cold detach the bodies from the tail and cut the latter into slices; put them into a sauce pan and add a little hot butter; season well with salt and pepper and fry lightly on both sides; moisten with a half gill madeira wine and reduce sauce to half of its original amount.

Then moisten to their height with good cream and boil down to three quarters of the full amount, after which thicken with a previously made thickening, of four tablespoonfuls of raw cream, one tablespoonful of madeira wine, two yolks of eggs, a pinch of cayenne; incorporate with lobster, add a little butter, cook without boiling, tossing the lobster lightly, then put in a chafing dish and serve quickly.


Cut one small onion and one green pepper in small juliennes, also a few fresh mushrooms sliced. Put a little oil in a sauce pan and fry the onion, pepper and mushrooms for about eight minutes together without coloring; add two fresh tomatoes peeled and cut in small pieces; cook together for about five minutes, moisten with two gills of white wine and let simmer for about five minutes more.

Add one pint af crab meat, season to taste and add a clove of crushed garlic. Mix ill well together with one-half gill of tomato sauce and when it starts to boil, put in a chafing dish and serve hot.


Put one cup of terrapin, prepared as below, in flat pan. Add a little grated nutmeg, salt and pepper and half a glass of dry sherry. Boil till half reduced, then add a cup of thick cream, boil, and thicken with yolks of two eggs mixed and beaten with a quarter cup ot thick cream and one ounce of butter. Heat, but do not boil this. Serve in chafing dish, with dry sherry and toast on the side.


Mince an onion, preferably a shallot onion, browning slightly with two spoonsful of butter. Add a spoonful of flour, mixing well. Then add a half pint of sweet milk. Stir to a smooth cream. Add the meat of a small crab and a tablespoonful of sherry. Pour over toast cut in fancy shapes, serving on a deep platter.


Slice lean fillet of beef size of a silver dollar; put in hot butter in chafing dish. Add two chopped shallots, cook quickly on good fire for three minutes then add chopped estragon, a fresh piece of butter and the juice of a lemon. Serve.


Mince the white meat of two breasts of chicken; slice eight fresh mushrooms and stew in two ounces of butter. Take a pint of cream and put chicken and mushrooms in pan and add one gill of sherry and two more ounces of butter. Mix well and as soon as it starts to boil put in chafing dish. Slice one whole truffle thin and lay across the top. Serve with thin dry toast on hot plates.


Take four nice calf’s sweetbreads and plunge well. After they are cold, slice in pieces and sauté in butter for six minutes. Also have eight fresh mushrooms sautéed in butter for six minutes.

Put mushrooms and sweetbreads in sauce pan in which a pint of good cream has been placed and add one ounce of butter. Add one sliced pimento and stir thoroughly for three minutes.

Add one gill of sherry while stirring. Stir until it simmers. Slice some truffles and lay in sherry until ready to serve. When ready, put mixture in chafing dish and spread the truffles all over the top. Season to taste.

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