Recipe for a Dish of Chicken or Partridge with Quince or Apple
Manuscrito Anonimo, a 13th century Andalusian cook book
Translated by Charles Perry
Recipe for a Dish of Chicken or Partridge with Quince
Leave overnight whichever of the two [birds] you have, its throat
slit, in its feathers. Clean it and put it into a new pot and throw in two
spoonfuls of rosewater and half a spoonful of good murri, two spoonfuls of
oil, salt, a fennel stalk, a whole onion, and a quarter dirham of saffron,
and water to cover the meat. Then take quince or apple, skin the outside
and clean the inside and cut it up in appropriate-sized pieces, and throw
them into the pot. Put it on a moderate fire and when it is done, take it
away with a lid over it. Cover it with breadcrumbs, a little sifted flour
and five eggs, after removing some of the yolks. Cook it in the pot, and
when the coating has cooked, sprinkle it with rosewater and leave it until
the surface is clear and stands out apart. Ladle it out, sprinkle it with
fine spices and present it.
1 entire chicken, or preferred chicken pieces to the weight of one chicken
2 teaspoonfuls of rosewater
1/2 tablespoon of good murri
2 tablespoonfuls of oil
salt, as needed
1 fennel bulb, cut in crescents (just slice across, it naturally has the curves)
1 whole onion, peeled, quartered and sliced
less than 1/8 tsp saffron
water to cover
2 quinces or apple, peeled, seeded, and cut it up in appropriate-sized pieces
breadcrumbs - i pulled out half a sweet batard
5 eggs, after removing some of the yolks
a little sifted flour - 1/4 cup
1 teaspoon rosewater
fine spices - a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and pepper - to taste
- Clean the fowl and put it into a deep pot.
- Add rosewater, murri, oil, salt, fennel stalk,
onion, and saffron, and water to cover the meat. Add cut-up quince or apple
into the pot.
- Put it on a moderate fire until it is done.
- When the chicken is almost cooked through, mix together the bread crumbs and eggs, with just enough flour to bind it.
- When the chicken is done, take it off
the fire. Cover it with the paste of breadcrumbs, flour and eggs. Put a lid
over it (maybe here in the old days they put hot coals on the lid - i didn't)
- Cook it very gently covered until the coating is cooked.
- When the coating is set, sprinkle it with rosewater
and leave it until "the surface is clear and stands out apart". To be honest,
i'm not sure what this means. I left it for a few minutes. The coating had
a texture and consistency rather like dumplings.
- The original says: Ladle it out, sprinkle it with
fine spices and present it. However, as i'm often cooking for pot lucks,
i sprinkle it with fine spices and let the diners ladle it out.