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A 16th Century Chicken Recipe from Zwickau

I am especially interested in this recipe as part of my own personal heritage.  The city of Zwickau is just a few miles from my mother's father's birthplace and ancestral family seat.  It seems to be a stewed chicken with a finished sauce of creamy milk, eggs, parsley and bacon.  I want to try it!

Chicken of Zwickau

Take a chicken / stew it altogether well / take then four or five eggs / depending on how big it is / and beat them / and take some bacon / and a bit parsley / and chop it well / mix into the eggs / and take a bit of mace / lay it in the stock / as you could with the others / would you rather / so crush an entire nutmeg / and sprinkle a bit thereon / you may will to beat fat milk into the eggs / those from Zwickau do it thus / and when you do not use fat milk in it / so it will not be good  / and when you can not have bacon / so take marrow from a meat bone / or may butter / and fill the inside of the chicken / so that it lies inside the skin / and sew it together / you may will the stock / where there is much / also do thusly / let it gently simmer thinner / and the sooner it simmers / and is prepared / the better it is / when is stands long / so it is not good.

From: Ein sehr Künstliches und fürtrefflichs Kochbuch von allerley Speysen, Auch wie man Latwergen und Zucker einmachen sol, und sonst von andern guten heimlichen Künsten : Einem jeden im Hauß sehr notwendig und nützlich zugebrauchen

Comments

jillwheezul
Mar. 12th, 2015 04:43 pm (UTC)
I think, based on my sense of stream of the text, that this is a stewed chicken, with the creamy milk/egg/bacon/parsley mixture added to the liquid to make a sauce (with instructions to reduce the stock if there is too much).

The butter or marrow "stuffing" instructions are when there is no bacon available to up the fat content. As I read it it may be that the marrow or may butter is put between the skin and the flesh and closed up so it just melts into the meat.

The thing is written as if someone is talking, and then goes back and remembers something that should have been mentioned before. The milk bit is interesting, as that variation is what really makes it Zwickau chicken. But that the original egg/parsley/bacon/mace gets laid in the stock, which is what leads me to believe that this is a type of sauce.