The two part cooking of chicken is for two reasons:
Chickens humours are of a dry humour and you need to simmer them to add moist to balance them, and
it insures that the chicken is cooked through so it won’t make someone who is cooking without reliable heat, or meat thermometer, ill.
I used chicken legs but this recipe calls for Capon, which is much more expensive.
The apples are cut into quarters, this could mean that you should have chunks of apples when the sauce is done cooking, or that the cook knows they will cook long enough to thicken sauce. Or both!
I think the flavour from the pine nuts helps balance out the sweetness of the other sauce ingredients. If you needed to remove the pine nuts I’d try dried mushrooms or toasted almonds to give a umami, or savoury taste.
One of Jeff”s apples
Frying apples and onions together
Bring to boil
Hungarian Capon in pottage. Take a slightly cooked capon, cut it into quarters, & fry in butter a little, that it is not at all black: then take onions cut into slices, & apples cut into little quarters, & fry in butter, & cast it on the capon in a pot: then put therein a little broth & wine, & let it boil again, & put herein saffron, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, pine nuts, & make stew well until it is well cooked, & serve. Ouverture de Cuisine
(France, 1604 – Daniel Myers, trans.)
6 chicken pieces
1 tbsp & 1 tbsp salted butter
1 onion, sliced
2 apples, peeled, quartered, cores removed
1.5 cups broth
1/2 cup wine
1 pinch saffron
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup pine nuts**
Heat a deep cast iron frying pan on medium. Add chicken pieces and 1 tbsp butter, fry until chicken is brown. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
Add 1 tbsp butter to chicken pan* with onions and apple pieces. Fry until onions soften.
Gently place chicken back to pan, cover with broth and wine and then bring to a boil.
Stir in remaining ingredients and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until chicken falls off bone or is well cooked. Your kitchen will smell wonderful.
Serve chicken with cooking liquid.
*It is a different instruction from the original but I like using one pan when I can instead of two. If pressed for time fry apples and onions in a second pot as you are browning chicken pieces.
I had leftover rabbit to use up and some grapes that were no longer completely firm. So…. pie!
There are many examples of layered pies so I did the layering here. I believe it would work if you mixed all the ingredients together instead of using layers, but I’d add some more egg yolk for binder and reduce the amount of grapes or gooseberries.
A Book of Cookrye (1591) mentioned a similar dish but using verjuice and butter as a replacement for fruit, you could do that here instead of the grapes.
To bake a Connie, Veale, or Mutton.. Take a Conny and perboile it almost enough, then mince the flesh of it very fine, and take with it three yolks of hard eggs, and mince with it, then lay another Conny in your Pie being parboiled, and your minced meat with it, being seasoned with Cloues, Mace, Ginger, Saffron Pepper & Salt, with two dishes of swéete butter mixed with it, lay upon your Connie Barberries, or grapes, or the small raisins, and so bake it.
So when redacting a recipe sometimes the author puts in fantastic instructions that answer the “white kind?” question. In this simple boiled chicken recipe the author calls for a “white broth” which means white bread to thicken not brown, grape verjuice not crabapple or something colourful.
This recipe is also a good example of using various different meats, or meat fats, to create flavours. Mutton bones added to the hens layers flavours without the added expense of a good cut of mutton.
To seeth Hennes and capons in Winter, in whitebroth. Take a neck of mutton & a marow bone, and let them boile with the Hennes togither, then take Carret roots, and put them into the pot, and then straine a little bread to thick the pot withall and not too thicke, season it with Pepper & vergious, and then cover them close and let them boyle togither, then cut Sops and put the broth and the marrow above, and so serve them. A.W. A Book of Cookrye (1591)
mutton broth made from fatty bones or mutton bones
1 or 2 small chickens
12 rainbow carrots or white carrots
1/4 cup grape verjuice (lots of verjuice make the carrots bitter, but compliments the fats)
Lots of Pepper to taste, fresh ground
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I think if you need to ground almonds or oats would work)
Bread to serve**
Put all ingredients into pot with enough broth (or water if you have bones) to cover. Bring to boil and then drop temperature to simmer until chicken comes up to temperature (165° F / 75° ) and joints easily turn, and meat is falling off bone ~90 minutes.
** cut into sops here could be that the chicken is sliced like sops and then the other ingredients are piled on top. I like using the sliced bread definition of sops when there is a broth/sauce like this.
Kidney Beans. Cook the kidney beans in pure water or in good broth; when they are cooked, get finely sliced onions and fry them in a pan with good oil and put these fried onions on top [of the beans] along with pepper, cinnamon and saffron; then let this sit a while on the hot coals; dish it up with good spices on top.
Can you image being a 15th century cook, given the responsibility of cooking this exotic ingredient called “Kidney Beans”? Modern cooks who take cooked then canned kidney beans for granted may not realize the prep required to use dried kidney beans.
Marina (From Marina’s Solar) wrote a borcht recipe for the Feast Cook’s Guild’s fund raising calendar that was amazing. She quoted this recipe as an example of other beet soup recipes: “In Byzantium beets, sorrel, onion, garlic, and vinegar, boiled together, cleared the digestion. (Source: Tastes of Byzantium)….” but she didn’t redact this one specifically. “…cleared the digestion” has me curious but I carry on.
This is another meatball in sauce recipe that I am trying out as an idea for Feast of the Hare in November.
Again the meat is paired with a ‘lemon’ flavour, but this time it will be barberries not salted lemons. The meatballs are shaped like pears, which is cute.
I also have fresh thyme and parsley and this recipe will be excellent use for them.
This recipe is fussy especially compared to the above linked meatball recipe but it is so much amazing. John, one of my stunt eaters, called the barberries taste explosions.
To make Peares to be boiled in meate. TAke a peece of a legge of Mutton or Veale raw, being mixed with a little Sheepe sewet, and halfe a manchet grated fine, taking foure raw egges yolkes and al. Then take a little Time, & parsely chopped smal, then take a few gooseberies or barberies, or greene grapes being whole. Put all these together, being seasoned with Salte, saffron and cloues, beaten and wrought altogether; then make Rowles or Balles like to a peare, and when you haue so done, take the stalke of the sage, and put it into the ends of your peares or balles, then take the freshe broth of beefe, Mutton or veale, being put into an earthen pot, putting the peares or balles in the same broth wyth Salt, cloues, mace and Saffron, and when you be ready to serue him, put two or three yolkes of egs into the broth. Let them boile no more after that but serue it forth vpon soppes. You may make balles after the same sorte. Thomas Dawson, The Second part of the good Huswives Jewell (1597)
.6 kg beef, veal or mutton ground
100 g suite or lard
150 g bread crumbs
2 branches of thyme, leaves minced
2 branches of parsley, leaves minced
100 g barberries
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cloves, ground
2 liter beef broth
1 tsp salt
8 cloves, whole
1 flake mace
3 egg yolks, beaten
Mix ground meat, and the ingredients for meatballs together. It should hold its shape when formed into “pears”. Make meat mixture into pears, 2 oz each.
Put beef broth, 1 tsp salt, whole cloves, meat mace flake, and pinch of saffron into a large sauce pan and bring to boil. Drop “pears” gently into pot and then reduce heat. DO NOT stir for at least 10 minutes. Remove meatballs after 10 minutes and set into warm bowl.
Remove large spices from broth if possible. Add a 1/4 cup of cooking liquid to egg yolks, blend well, then add egg mixture to pot. Simmer on medium for 10 minutes to thicken sauce.
So this recipe could be a meatball soup, given the amount of broth required to cover the meatballs is more than one would use as a sauce. It is strongly flavoured though, so I would serve it with sops (bread slices) if you were doing that. Otherwise it is a wonderful lemon bite around the delicately flavoured veal (*cough* bland *cough*).
My friend Diane would love this.
Veal was on sale so tomorrow I will be making a veal pie.
Another sort of dressed veal. Take the meat so as to have made ham all as trimmed, & make round balls or strips like little sausages, & put them to stew in good broth, & a salted lemon cut in strips, mint, marjoram therein, a little verjuice or wine, & put them to stew well, & serve as such. (France, 1604 – Daniel Myers, trans. Ouverture de Cuisine)
1lb ground veal
1.5 liters of bone broth
1 salted lemon
1 branch each mint, marjoram
1/3 cup verjuice (or wine)
Salt the veal to taste and then form into balls ~1 oz, you should get 15-16 balls from 1 lb of veal.
Pour broth into a sauce pan and add the rest of the ingredients then bring to boil on high.
Drop meatballs into boiling broth and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer balls for 7 minutes.
Serve balls with broth (and sops). (My family added more salt)