a whole roasted chicken in a pot, about to be carved

When I was a kid, Mom would splash out on a capon once or twice a year. They are almost impossible to get now, because modern farm practices are not lending to that kind of breeding, but I have had them, and can keep in mind the qualities I seek in a bird

This recipe is so simple and minimal, with so little else going on, that the quality of the meat almost entirely dictates the result of the dish. This being the beginning of farmers’ market season in my area, I have access to meat fine enough to stand up to this recipe.

Choose a bird that fits your soup pot. Always keep in mind the vessels you must use to prepare your food in. Get the nicest possible bird. Any will be good, but having had exceptional, I would like you to enjoy it as much as we did.

Blanching the chicken causes the skin to become terribly fragile. It rips at the merest glance.

I lifted my chicken out of the poach by inserting a long spatula in each end. It is very important to drain as you lift, it can be dangerous and messy if the water inside the bird spills.

Having used many types of fat for larding over the years, our best results were from thinly sliced unsalted leaf fat. Chicken fat has too low a melt point, salted fat alters the flavor and texture of the skin and meat.Neapolitan Roast Chicken (2)

  To make a Fine Roast of capons, cockerels, goat kid, and any other meat. First, if it is a large joint of meat, put it to boil unless it is young veal; if it is capon or any other meat that is worth setting to roast, make it clean, then plunge it into boiling water and take it out immediately and put it into cold water -that is done to make it better; then lard it with good lardo and mount it on the spit, cooking it slowly; then, when it is almost done, get a grated piece of bread and mix it with salt and coat the meat. In this way you will have it cooked fine.

1 large roasting chicken, well cleaned.

1 pot of water, simmering (with head room for the mass of the chicken)

3-4 oz thinly sliced leaf fat or sliced chilled chicken fat

3 oz breadcrumbs (home made)

salt

other seasonings you might like.

Blanch the chicken. It really does matter. If you have never done it before, please take the effort to try it once. It was done for humoural reasons (making a “hot dry” bird “cool moist” before roasting  “hot dry”)

Place the chicken in the roasting vessel, reserve the poaching water.

Lay the fat overtop of the skin. Maybe tuck a couple of pieces under the skin. I did, and I am glad, but be careful.

Place the unsalted chicken in the oven and roast til it is very nearly done.

Season the breadcrumbs while the chicken roasts. Use at least salt,

When you can smell it, pull the chicken out and sprinkle it liberally with the breadcrumbs.

Pop it back into the oven for the last 10-15 minutes, then when you pull it for the last time, allow it to rest for 15 minutes.

Carve and serve, placing the carcass in the poaching pot to make a lovely broth for future use.

I hope your dinner is as lovely as mine.

Cormarye. XX.II. XIII. Take Colyandre, Caraway smale grounden, Powdour of Peper and garlec ygrounde in rede wyne, medle alle þise togyder and salt it, take loynes of Pork rawe and fle of the skyn, and pryk it wel with a knyf and lay it in the sawse, roost þerof what þou wilt, & kepe þat þat fallith þerfro in the rosting and seeþ it in a possynet with faire broth, & serue it forth witþ þe roost anoon.

Cormarye (12)

I had not run into this dish before, but it was on a menu recently and intrigued me. The spices are very simple. The instructions are very basic. The results remind me of pastrami. Thanks much to Annetje van Woerden for pointing out the recipe!

Take coriander, caraway ground small, pepper, garlic which has been crushed in red wine. Meddle all this together and salt it. Take raw pork loin, well pricked, and lay it in the sauce. Roast it, but keep the fat.  When it is roasted, seeth it in a tight pot in nice broth. Include the drippings.

Cormarye (3)

So simple, so good.

I have done this with many types of meat and not been unhappy with it. My favorite is short ribs.

3 TBS whole coriander

3 TBS whole caraway seeds, crushed well

5 cloves of garlic

1/2 bottle of red wine

4 LBS meat

2 TBS salt

Trim your meat of silverskin, but leave the fat cap.
Prick the meat to allow the marinade to penetrate.

Place in a zip bag.

Pour the spices in the bag, add wine, and squeeze out the air.

Allow to sit overnight or longer, if you wish, it will only improve.

Roast on a rack. I like to put a little water in the bottom of the pan so the drippings don’t burn.

Allow to cool, then seethe (or steam) the meat.

You can carve a larger, roasted piece into useful sections and steam at need.

It’s rather simple, it’s very tasty, and it’s very flexible.

loaf of meat wrapped in cheesecloth, cut in half to show the filling, on a plate for service

http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/Cookbooks/Du_Fait_de_Cuisine/Du_fait_de_Cuisine.html

Recipe 64

 

I read a recent chefs’ text book a few years ago that made me pretty unhappy. It was that old saw about “ate bad meat, used lots of spices.” Lemme tell ya, I have a lot more respect for Medieval cooks than I do for the author of that well regarded book.

It’s hard not to go on a tirade, but if you are unfamiliar with historical cooking, let me assure you that people had the same gastric systems we do, and things that would make us sick would have made them sick. No amount of spices could fix it. Frankly, no one was going to throw good, expensive spices on bad food.

That out of the way, we get to the Green Meat.

This is a form of meatloaf, which is intended to be rolled in caul fat, like a crepinette. It’s to be wrapped in the layer of fat, then spitted and grilled, while being painted with parsley juice to turn it green.

I tried for some time to find the caul fat, and wasn’t able to get it locally. I have a line on it now, but the shoulder of mutton wouldn’t wait a few weeks.

The original recipe is quite long. It’s a set of instructions for making a relatively small amount of meat into a large, festive dish for a crowd.

First, we refresh the meat, taking it from the salt it is preserved in and rehydrating it.

After poaching it, the meat is carefully removed from the bones, taking great care to avoid damaging the bone structure.

It’s minced, blended with the other ingredients, and reformed into a shoulder-shaped loaf on the same bones, then wrapped carefully with the caul fat and roasted.

While it is roasting, it’s to be endored, painted, with the juice of parsley, a popular food coloring.

Having no caul fat, I chose to wrap the meat in cheesecloth, though a terrine also crossed my mind. It was not optimal, but it did work, and we are excited to do it again once we have caul fat in stock.

The resulting dish is a rather elaborate meatloaf, which extends the dish, assures that the meat is of the same quality throughout the dish, and be humorally appropriate for the largest portion of diners.

In fact, at the end of the instructions, there are a few suggested dishes named for in case any diners might have an infirmity, to allow them to have better balanced humors in order to enjoy the shoulder of mutton as well.

The directions are very long. The results are Green Meat.

 

Shoulder and or leg of mutton, rinsed. If salted, then soaked for a time.

Simmer in salt water, then cooled.

Remove the meat completely from the bone, but do not separate the bones.

Mince brie (or Crampone) cheese, add parsley, marjoram, hyssop, and sage.

The spices are ginger, grains of paradise, and some whole cloves to embellish with.

Eggs, saffron, and caul fat, figure it would take four to do a full sized leg of mutton.

Small skewers or toothpicks to pin the cauls on.

Parsley, eggs, and flour for the coloring layer

And an admonition not to overcook the batter in such a way as to lose the green coloration.

I had no choice but to diverge from the recipe in a few undesirable ways.

Our mutton shoulder was poorly cut, so I decided not to build back onto it. The bone would have lent a lot of flavor and helped keep the meat moist, as well as giving the appearance of the original shape.

I used cheesecloth, rather than caul, in order to be able to do the dish at all. Because of this, I used parsley juice alone, rather than egg/wheat batter as a gilding. These choices strongly affect the texture of the dish.

I could not cook over an open fire on a spit, because the grill is under several layers of snow. The cheesecloth would have caught fire anyhow.

What I did was not optimal. Let’s call this a test run worth discussing, not a final.

I am posting it because it was so good, and so easily adapted to feast or picnic use, that it would be rude to keep it to myself for a moment longer.

We had a whole shoulder of mutton, but a couple of shanks would do quite well here for a more modest service, intended for a smaller number of people.

Chiquart Mutton (2) Chiquart Mutton (4) Chiquart Mutton (5) Chiquart Mutton (8) Chiquart Mutton (10) Chiquart Mutton (13)

*if using caul, look for notes after the recipe

1,5 LBS mutton, simmered in water or simple broth

4 oz brie cheese, chilled and minced.

2 raw eggs

2 oz parsley, picked and minced

1/2 tsp dried marjoram

1 tsp sage

1/2 tsp hyssop

3/4 tsp dried ginger

3/4 tsp grains of paradise

1 1/4 tsp salt

12-20 whole cloves

saffron

These instructions are for the simplified iteration using cheesecloth.

Mince the cooked mutton. I used knives, but a processor will do an admirable job.

Beat the eggs, add the saffron to them. Set aside for the moment.

Add the herbs and spices, but not the cloves. Fold together with the cheese. Blend in the eggs to make a homogeneous loaf, not too wet but well stuck together.

Prepare the cheesecloth by dipping it in the broth you  cooked the meat in.

Lay the meat on the cheesecloth, fold it into a tidy parcel.

Mince the rest of the parsley, put it in the blender if you have one. Use a tad of water to help it along. (I don’t have a blender. I used a mortar and pestle. Don’t do that.)

When the parsley is pretty liquid, paint it onto the cheesecloth. Wait a moment for it to saturate, and paint on the rest.

Place the cloves on the surface, piercing the fabric, and roast the loaf on a pan with sides at 350 for about an hour.

*If you are using caul, rinse the caul, stretch it out, and paint it with an egg or two, to help seal it and help it stick to the meat.

Make parsley juice as above.

Blend  two eggs with a quarter cup of flour, and fold in the parsley juice.

Fold the loaf into it, and pin it shut. Paint it with the flour, egg and parsley mixture,

pierce it with the cloves, and roast as above.

To do it properly, you will have closer to 6 pounds of meat, reformed on the bone, which will roast at 200* for 5 hours. The recipe multiplies up pretty well, but you will need more eggs, and several toothpicks to pin on the caul.

Green meat was really tasty. We were disappointed by how much cheese we lost to the cheesecloth, though not surprised.

 

 

There’s a question of what exactly “resola” is. It might be the pluck, it might be a type of sausage, it might be a leftover of another kind of dish.

Being that there is boiled garlic in the recipe, I went with a type of sausage which relies on fresh meat and garlic. We both like garlic, he does not like pluck. It worked out well.

Because I was not stuffing a whole piglet or kid, I made way too much stuffing. I cooked the rest in a separate pot, more like a terrine. The roast I used only took about a quarter cup of filling.

First I poached some heads of garlic. I figure it freezes well, so poach once, enjoy often. Then I cubed up some salted fat, which I trimmed of skin, and a bit of meat.

the non-meat ingredients for the dish in bowls waiting to be added

meats in the pan, veg on the counter

This all got sauteed til the fat was mostly rendered, and everything was cooked.

sausage, salt-fat, and minced meat in the pan

the sausages are about 3″ long.

After cooling, the meats all went into a processor with the onion and the herbs, and was pulsed til it was quite homogeneous. The raisins were forgotten, and only two eggs were needed to get the texture to what I was looking for.

At this point, I opened a pocket in the loin I was stuffing, and poured in as much as it would take.

a loin roast with a large pocket cut into it, being prepared for stuffing

a reasonably large pocket

It was roasted in a high oven, then rested for about 15 minutes.

After resting, it was sliced in half and served, where it was met with great appreciation.

Recipe: To Stuff a Kid

Ingredients

  • Two small garlic sausages (recipe another time)
  • Two ounces of salt-fat, cubed
  • Two ounces of raw meat, cubed
  • Four ounces raw onion
  • One ounce parlsey and marjoram
  • Two cloves boiled garlic
  • Two ounces raisins
  • Thick chops, loin roast, small whole meat item, or a terrine mold to place filling in.

Instructions

  1. Boil garlic, set aside to cool
  2. Sautee meats til done and fat rendered. Allow to cool.
  3. Mince meat together with the onion, garlic, and herbs
  4. Fold in eggs and raisins.
  5. Stuff meat item or prepared mold, and roast or bake in bain marie as appropriate.

Variations

– unknown major ingredient – expensive ingredients -heavy on pork, an ingredient that does not always play well -muscles or processor needed, not a simple construction. + flexible service, can fit different aspects of a menu +can be made ahead if good temperatures can be managed.

Preparation time: