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.

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Fried Peaches Two Ways or “Peach Doughnut”

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Peach doughnut. Cut open the ripe peach, take out the seed, make the same kind of dough we made for the salads or the elderberry. For we don’t add eggs to sage dough, but we do add eggs to peach dough, sometimes a little wine, too.
Dip the peeled peach into the dough, then fry it and serve it when hot, add sugar. If the peach is clingstone, slice it into circles. The herb masters cut this into four, pour
some wine onto it, then mix it with flour, finally, they fry it. The Prince of Transylvania’s court cookbook, 16th Century

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp wine
  • 1 egg
  • 2 peaches, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 2 tbsp raw cane sugar for garnish.
  • Butter for frying

Directions

  1. Mix flour, egg and wine together with a fork.
  2. Heat frying pan on medium heat, then add butter.
  3. Dip peach discs into batter from step one and then carefully lay your peach pancake into the hot pan. Fry for 5 minutes on each side, or until brown.
  4. Place cooked peach slice on plate and sprinkle with sugar. Serve warm.

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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp wine*
  • 2 peaches
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • Butter for frying

Directions

  1. Cover the peaches with the wine and stir to coat.
  2. Heat frying pan on medium heat, then add butter.
  3. Dip peach quarters into flour and then gently place on frying pan.
  4. Heat each side of the peach triangle for ~5 minutes or until browned. Serve warm.

* the wine will be the strongest flavour giving a tangy or sour cooked end product. If you use a really sweet wine, or a really ripe peach it would work better. I coated these peach doughnuts with raw sugar as well. 

Stuffed Turnips or How to make a pudding in a turnep root

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I was talking about turnips with @glen_malley (as one does) and after the “turnips are not Rutabaga” comments decided to blog about it because I like clearing up confusion.

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One small rutabaga, and two large turnips to clear up confusion.

Over at Wikipedia says that rutabaga (Brassica napobrassicais a cross between a turnip (Brassica rapa subsp. rapa and cabbage (Brassica oleracea), and is commonly called ‘turnip’ to confuse people. Rutabaga has a stronger, sharp flavour, and the flesh is very hard, where turnip flavour is mild, and the flesh is softer.

Sappho, a poet from the 7th century BC, calls one of her lovers Gongýla, “turnip”.

I implore you, Turnip,
Show yourself to me!
Pick up your harp one more time
While the wings of longing hover around you.

Rutabaga, not so romantic. I looked it up.

The recipe I am doing likes the softness and blandness of the turnip. If you were to substitute an apple for the turnip it would dissolve into apple-squish before the pudding was cooked since the turnips are simmered.

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How to make a Pudding in a Turnep root. Take your Turnep root, and wash it fair in warm water, and scrape it faire and make it hollow as you doo a Carret roote, and make your stuffe of grated bread, and Apples chopt fine, then take Corance, and hard Egs, and season it with Sugar Sinamon, and Ginger, and yolks of hard egs and so temper your stuffe, and put it into the Turnep, then take faire water, and set it on the fire, and let it boyle or ever you put in your Turneps, then put in a good peece of sweet Butter, and Claret Wine, and a little Vinagre, and Rosemarye, and whole Mace, Sugar, and Corance, and Dates quartered, and when they are boyled inough, then willl they be tender, then serve it in. A.W. A Book of Cookrye (1591)

Ingredients:

* 4 turnips, pealed
Stuffing:
* 1/2 cup bread crumbs
* 1 apple, grated
* 1 tbsp currants
*  yolks from 2 hard boiled eggs
* 2 tbsp sugar
* 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
* 1/2 tsp ginger, ground
Broth:
* 2 tbsp unsalted butter
* 1/2 cup red wine
* 1 tsp rosemary needles
* 1 flake mace
* 1 tbsp sugar
* 1 tbsp currants
* 2 tbsp dates, quartered
* 1 tbsp grape vinegar

Directions

  1. Carve out an egg sized hole in your turnips removing about 1/4 cup of flesh. I used a grapefruit spoon but a Mellon baller or knife will work. If you slip and pierce the flesh a little don’t worry too much but try not to make any of the turnip-bowl walls too thin.
  2. Mix stuffing ingredients together with hand. Tightly stuff the stuffing into each turnip bowl.
  3. Fill a sauce pan half way with water. Bring water to a boil. Turn pot down to low to simmer  and add butter, wine, rosemary, mace, sugar, currants, and dates, then stir.
  4. Gently place the turnips stuffing side up in pot, simmering liquid should cover them. Cover pot with lid and simmer the puddings for 1 hour.
  5. Serve hot or cold.

Optional: You could make a sauce out of the cooking liquid by straining and adding more sugar but that isn’t mentioned in the original recipe.