Almond Milk Sauce or “Viii – broth With eggs In (sauce) For Good partridge”

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For thanksgiving I made 3 partridges instead of a turkey. Partridges are an extremely lean meat, and need a sauce. This sauce has the ‘fatty’ mouthfeel that these birds need.

I made my own almond milk because I find the almond milks commercially available to be really thin. I used 1 cup of sliced almonds and two cups of water. I soaked the almonds overnight in the blender (but an hour long soak should be fine). Then blend the soaked almonds for as long as you can stand the noise for (2-5 minutes) and then strain. It should yield ~2 cups of almond cream.

I also made my own verjuice (in the spring but now I’m just showing off). The verjuice is acidic, however almond milk won’t curdle like cows’ milk would.

If you just stir egg yolks into the mixture before heating everything you are likely to get clumping instead of a smooth sauce. In this recipe I heat all the ingredients and then add a bit of the hot liquid to the egg yolks before adding the egg yolk mixture to the hot liquid. This is not what it says to do in the original, please play with the recipe yourself and see what happens, or if you prefer the effect. When redacting a recipe you have to know some things about how the ingredients are going to interact so I stand by my egg-yolk handling.

Almond Sauce for Partridges

Sexy partridge legs waiting for a dip into the almond sauce.

VIII – Broth with eggs in (sauce) for good partridge. Broth of partridge, take milk of almonds and egg yolks and saffron and verjuice and sweet spices and allow to boil enough until it is cooked and it will be good. Libro di cucina  (Italy, 14th/15th c. – Louise Smithson, trans.)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups thick almond milk
  • 2 saffron threads
  • 1/2 cup verjuice ( I used crab-apple, but grape would work)
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 egg yolks, mixed with a  fork.*

Directions

  1. Stir almond milk, saffron, verjuice, ginger, and cinnamon together in a sauce pan. Put the pan to heat on medium-high until it comes to boil, stirring often.
  2. Put 1/2 cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks and acting quickly stir really well. Slowly pour the yolk mixture into the main sauce pan while stirring really well.
  3. Let mixture simmer on low until guests are ready for the meal, stirring often.

* to use up the whites I recommend white torte.

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Chicken stewed with apples or “Hungarian Capon in Pottage”

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The two part cooking of chicken is for two reasons:

  1. Chickens humours are of a dry humour and you need to simmer them to add moist to balance them, and
  2. 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.

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.)

Ingredients

  • 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**

DIrections

  1. 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.
  2. Add 1 tbsp butter to chicken pan* with onions and apple pieces. Fry until onions soften.
  3. Gently place chicken back to pan, cover with broth and wine and then bring to a boil.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

**Costs more than the chicken did.

Why Parboiling? or To Bake Wilde Ducks

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Parboiling is a technique where you place something in a pot of water, bring the water to a boil and then remove the item. Why would so many medieval recipes call for parboiling meat, especially poultry?

For things like hearts or livers, or wild game, it removed the “gamey” or “green” taste. For things like duck or chicken this isn’t necessary, they don’t taste “gamey” in a bad way.

Poultry is most often described as choleric, a hot dry humour. One of the symptoms of and abundance of choler is vomiting.

Vomiting is also one of the symptoms of food poisoning. If one first parboiled the poultry, then roasted it, you are more likely to get the bird up to temperature required for eating, than by roasting alone. Sometimes fire runs hot and will burn the outside before the bird is cooked, parboiling would help insure the duck is cooked through.

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To Bake Wilde ducks. When they be fair dressed and perboiled, season them with Pepper and Salt, a few whole cloves amongst them, and Onions small minced, and sweet butter, vergious and a little sugar. A Book of Cookrye (1591)

Ingredients
* 1 duck
* Pepper and salt to taste
* 1/2 tsp cloves, ground
* 2 onions minced
* 2 tbsp butter
*2 tbsp verjuice
* 1 tbsp raw cane sugar

Directions

  1. Place whole duck into a large pot and cover with water. Heat pot on high until pot comes to boil.
  2. Preheat oven to 375F.
  3. Sprinkle duck with lots of salt, pepper and cloves.
  4. Mix onions, butter and sugar and stuff into cavity (or combine into a paste and spread over duck).
  5. Bake duck for 1 hour 30 minutes (or until internal temperature is 185F, and wings should pull away when twisted).
  6. Serve hot with onion stuffing.

 

Roasted Chicken with Apples, Currants and Barberries

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Barberries look like goji berries, they taste like dried cranberries simmered in lemon juice. You can buy them (and verjuice)  at specialty groceries, like a Mediterranean Grocery Shop.

I again used my clay cooker to roast my chicken but you can use any roasting pan with a cover. Always cook chicken up to 165 F.

To bake chickins. First season them with cloves & mace, pepper and salt, and put to them currans and Barberies, and slitte an apple and cast synamon and suger upon the apple, and lay it in the bottome, and to it put a dish of butter, and when it is almost enough baked, put a little suger, vergious and orenges. Thomas Dawson, The Second part of the good Hus-wiues Iewell (1597)

Ingredients:

  • 2 apples cut into slices
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/2 tsp raw can sugar
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1/2 tsp mace, ground
  • 1/2 tsp cloves, ground
  • 1/2 tsp pepper, ground
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup butter

Stuffing:

  • 1/3 cup dried currants
  • 1/3 cup dried barberries
  • 1 apple cored and coarsely chopped

Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp raw cane sugar
  • 1 tbsp verjuice
  • 1/4 cup of sour orange juice

Directions

  1. Soak clay roaster for 15 minutes to hours
  2. Place apple slices onto the bottom of your clay roaster, cover with 1/2 tsp sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Mix stuffing ingredients, currants, barberries, and chopped apple together.
  4. Place chicken on top of the apple slices. Put stuffing mixture inside bird cavity. Sprinkle cloves, mace, pepper, salt over the top of the bird. Dab the butter all over the top of the bird.
  5. Place lid on the clay cooker and place into cold oven. Heat oven to 420 and bake chicken for 90 minutes, or until bird reaches 165 F, and legs or wings twist off easily.
  6. Mix 1 tbsp of sugar, verjuice, and orange juice together.
  7. Take cook bird out of oven and turn off oven, and close oven door. Gently pour sauce over chicken, recover and return to still warm oven until you are ready to serve.
  8. Serve with stuffing, sauce and drippings from pan.

Sawse Madame XXX or Quince Sauce for a Goose

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Quince (also called conne, coynes, quyncis, coyces) is technically in season. Its still hard to find in Ontario even though they can grow here. They are picked after the first frost and you want to use them when they are green with a few brown spots and not when they are a bright, tight green. They should smell fragrant when you bring them to your nose.

Sauce Madame is an amazing quince based sauce for a goose. It combines stuffing and goose drippings to make the perfect sauce to go with a goose. You can probably use frozen quince instead of fresh but quince jam or paste will not work as a substitute. There are a few additional Sauce Madame recipes that use pear than quince but that makes me sad because quince is awesome.

Here are a few links to roasting goose:

This recipe makes more sauce than there is goose. Its worth it and amazing.

SAWSE MADAME. XXX. Take sawge. persel. ysope. and saueray. quinces. and peeres, garlek and Grapes. and fylle the gees þerwith. and sowe the hole þat no grece come out. and roost hem wel. and kepe the grece þat fallith þerof. take galytyne and grece and do in a possynet, whan the gees buth rosted ynouh; take an smyte hem on pecys. and þat tat is withinne and do it in a possynet and put þerinne wyne if it be to thyk. do þerto powdour of galyngale. powdour douce and salt and boyle the sawse and dresse þe Gees in disshes and lay þe sowe onoward. Forme of Cury (1390)

Ingredients:

* 1 goose [I brined for 24 hours, add salt to recipe if you don’t]
* 1 large quince, chopped, core removed
* 1 bosc pear, chopped, core removed
* 8 grapes, cut in half if large
* 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
* 2 branches sage, chopped
* 2 branches parsley, chopped
* 1 tsp hyssop
* 1/2 cup jelly from beef bone broth
* 1 cup white wine (I started with 1/3 cup and added for taste)
* fat and drippings from goose
* 1 tsp galingale
* 3 tsp powder duce mix

Directions

  1. I used the romertof instructions (listed above) for my goose. It starts with soaking cooker for 2+ hours before you start.
  2. Place goose inside clay cooker bottom, after making sure there are no bags of organ meats inside cavity.
  3. Mix quince, pear, grapes, garlic, sage, parsley, hyssop together. Stuff mixture inside goose. Gently place stuffing into bird. No need to sew it shut since you are not probably not spit roasting. Cover bird with top of cooker (if goose doesn’t fit completely inside move bird to large roaster and follow other goose cooking suggestions).
  4. Place roaster into a cold oven and then turn oven on to 420F. Set timer for 2 hours and walk away.
  5. Once two hours have passed, and your house smells amazing, remove bird from oven, and remove lid from cooker.  Remove stuffing from bird and gently pour off the drippings and fat from the bottom of the cooker. If bird is crispy and browned you can shut oven off otherwise return empty bird to the oven to brown without the cooker lid.
  6. Put roasted stuffing and the drippings into a sauce pan with beef jelly, wine, drippings and spices. Simmer together on medium low for 30 minutes until you are ready to serve goose. Mash or blend sauce to make it smooth before serving.
  7. Cut goose into smaller pieces and serve with generous amounts of sauce.

 

Cooking with beer and wine

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Hypothetically if you are cooking something like lamb sausages in beer on a BBQ and the grease catches fire do not add more beer. It kind of explodes. Maybe. Hypothetically.

I’ve been experimenting with cooking with (gluten-free) beer and wine after discovering two duck-sauce recipes that were pretty similar at first blush except that one uses wine and the other beer.

Beer adds a smokier and bitter flavour. The flavour would radically change from redaction to redaction depending upon what kind of beer you used. You’d want something on the lighter side, and less hops.

Wine is sweeter, even a dry wine, and adds an acidic and tart flavour. I find that cheaper cooking wines, when used in cooking, don’t taste that differently, some difference but not wildly different in the way beer is.

Both of the following recipes needed the roasted duck to complete the flavours.

Beer Sauce for Roasted Mallards
Take onions and hew them well, put some in the mallard, so have you bliss, and hack more onions, as I teach you; with the grease of the mallard you fry them, then take ale, mustard and honey then, boil all together before you do more; for mallard roasted this sauce is prepared, and served in hall by good right. Liber cure Cocorum

The ratios for the sauce are more important than amounts. If you don’t have 1 cup of drippings treat the recipe as 4 part drippings, 4 parts ale, 1 part mustard, and 1 part honey.

Ingredients
* 1 onion, minced
* 1 cup of fat and drippings from your roasted duck
* 1 cup ale
* 1/4 cup of yellow mustard
*1/4 cup of honey

Directions
1)  Saute onions in the duck fat and drippings on medium heat until the onions are transparent.

2) Mix ale, mustard and honey together, then slowly pour into onion mixture. Bring the mixture to a low boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with your roasted duck.

Wine Sauce for Duck
Take onions, and hewe them small, and fry hem in fresh greece, and cast them into a pot, And fresh broth of beef, wine, & powder of pepper, canel, and dropping of the mallard. And let them boil together a while; And take hit for the fire, and cast thereto mustard a little, and powder of ginger, and let it boil no more, and salt it, And serve it forth with the Mallard. Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books.  godecookery.com

Ingredients
* 1 onion, minced
* fat for frying
* 1/2 cup of beef broth
* 1/2 cup dry wine
* 1/2 tsp pepper, ground
* 1 tsp cinnamon, ground
* 1 cup fat and drippings from your roasted duck
* 1/4 cup of yellow mustard
* 1 tsp ginger, ground
* salt to taste

Directions
1)  Saute onions in fat  on medium heat in a sauce pan until the onions are transparent.

2) Add broth, wine, pepper, cinnamon, and drippings into sauce pan with onions, simmer together on medium  for 10 minutes.

3) Take sauce pan off heat add mustard, ginger, and salt and stir well. Serve with roasted duck.

Pynade or Chicken Candy

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Ever since I first cracked open the intimidating Take a Thousand Eggs or More by Cindy Renfrow I wanted to make some of the stranger dishes.

Pynade, is like peanut brittle but uses chicken and pine nuts instead of peanuts found in this book.

Most people make the version for lent, or without chicken. Chicken adds moisture so it is harder to get the sugars to the hard crack stage without burning–especially when using honey instead of sugar.

If you remove the dish from heat before the honey reaches 300F it is still a kind of sweet and (not very) sour chicken dish people seem to like so it is worth experimenting with.

Pynade. Take Hony & gode pouder Gyngere, & Galyngale, & Canelle, Pouder pepir, & graynys of parys, & boyle y-fere; than take kyrnelys of Pynotys & caste ther-to; & take chyconys y-sothe, & hew hem in grece, & caste ther-to, & lat sethe y-fere; & then lat droppe ther-of on a knyf; & if it cleuyth & wexyth hard, it ys y-now; & then putte it on a chargere tyl it be cold, & mace lechys, & serue with other metys; & if thou wolt make it in spycery, then putte non chykonys ther-to. Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books

 

Ingredients
* 2 Chicken breasts
* Oil for cooking
* 1 cup pine nuts
* 1 tsp galingale, ground
* 1 tsp ginger, ground
* 1 tsp cinnamon, ground
* Pinch black pepper, ground
* Pinch of grains of paradise, ground
* 1 cup honey

1) Fry chicken breasts in oil until cooked through, then chop chicken very small, and lie meat on cutting board to cool and drain. Too much moisture left in meat at this stage will change the dish.

2) In a dry skillet toast the pine nuts with the spices on a low heat.

3) Add chicken pieces and stir, coating the chicken liberally.

4) Pour honey into skillet and simmer, stirring constantly, until honey reaches just over 300 degrees or hard crack stage. The honey will change colour from golden to brown, and smell like candy.

5) Quickly pour honey mixture onto non-stick baking mat, or parchment paper, and let cool.

6) Finished product should look like “chicken brittle”, break into pieces to serve.