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Arwen Southernwood

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Original Recipe


Platina, On Right Pleasure and Good Health, circa 1465.
Consommé can be made from either capon, or pheasant, or partridge, or roebuck, or squabs, or wild doves.  If you want capon, take a pot which contains about five quarts of water.  Put the capon in it, with the bones broken up finely and with an ounce of lean pork, thirty grains of pepper, a little cinnamon, not ground too much, three or four cloves, five leaves of sage, torn into three pieces, and two leaves of bay.  Let this boil seven hours, or until it is reduced to two cups or less.  Beware of putting in salt, for if it is salted, it becomes a cause of illness.  Nothing will forbid a little spice even if it is served to an ill person.  This dish is given to the old and infirm.]. 



One roasting chicken, cut up.
5 quarts water
2 tablespoons olive oil OR 3 slices of bacon, diced
Thirty peppercorns, coarsely ground
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon OR 6 cinnamon sticks, lightly crushed
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves OR three or four whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon dried sage leaves, crushed, OR five fresh sage leaves, torn into three pieces
2 bay leaves
Fresh thyme, parsley, or other fresh herbs (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

Preparation Steps

  1. Wash chicken.  If using a whole chicken, remove gizzards and cut chicken into pieces. 
  2. Place all ingredients (except fresh thyme or parsley) in an 8-quart stockpot.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for two hours. 
  3. Strain to remove solid ingredients, return broth to the pot, and bring to a rolling boil.  Continue to boil until liquid is reduced to approximately half its original volume (2 1/2  to 3 quarts). 
  4. Garnish with fresh herbs, if desired

Number of Servings

10-12 servings.

Serving Size

1 cup.

Redaction Notes

I have chosen not to cook the consommé quite as long as Platina suggests, nor to reduce the liquid as far.  Platina also does not mention straining out the chicken and whole spices, but if this broth is meant to be served to invalids, that would seem a logical step.  I have added an optional herb garnish to give the soup some color when served.  I have also suggested the addition of some salt, since the modern palate is likely to find this broth too bland without it.

For this event, I have chosen to use olive oil rather than bacon, due to dietary restrictions.


  • Platina (pseud. of Bartolomeo Sacchi).  De honeste voluptate et valetudine ("On right pleasure and good health").  Translated and abridged by Mary Ella Milham.  Pegasus Press, The University of North Carolina at Asheville, 1999.  ISBN 1-889818-12-7.

Date Of Redaction

April, 2002.

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