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Chicken with Sauce Barbe Robert
Allegra Beati

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Original Recipe

Barbe Robert

(From The Vivendier)
Firstly, to make a Barbe Robert.  Get a little clear water and set it to boil with some butter; then add in wine, mustard, verjuice and such spices and as strong as you like, and let everything boil together.  Then get your pieces of chicken, put them in and let them boil only briefly; then roast them.  Watch that there is a reasonable amount of broth.  It should be colored a little with saffron.



2 tablespoons water
1 stick unsalted butter
Pinch saffron threads, crushed
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons verjuice or lemon juice
Pepper, to taste
4-6 chicken leg quarters

Preparation Steps

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    Place the water, butter, and crushed saffron into a small saucepan over low heat.  Whisk the mixture constantly, until the butter is melted.  Whisk in the wine, mustard, and verjuice or lemon juice.  The mixture will have a tendency to boil over rapidly, so keep a watchful eye!  Season to taste with pepper, and salt, if needed.

    Place the chicken leg quarters in the pan one at a time, to coat them with the sauce and take the chill off of the chicken (otherwise, the sauce will seize when you coat the chicken).  Place the chicken leg quarters in a roasting pan, and spoon any remaining sauce over them.  Transfer the roasting pan to the oven, and bake the chicken (basting occasionally with any juices in the pan), for 45 minutes to one hour, or until juices run clear when tested.

Number of Servings


Serving Size

One leg quarter

Redaction Notes

Because Dijon mustard is typically already blended with spices, you may not wish to add anything more than a touch of white or black pepper; however, you should feel free to experiment with your favorite spices!


  • The Vivendier, A Fifteenth-century French Cookery Manuscript, a critical edition with English translation by Terence Scully (Prospect Books, 1997)

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