Roast chicken. Almost no-one actually dislikes it. Universally liked, however, commonly equates with rather uninspiring. For your next roast chicken party, you could do worse than take inspiration from a cookery book written in Germany in 1553, by a woman called Sabina Welserin. Your dinner will be colourful as well as being sixteenth-century in concept – and a pretty good conversation topic too!
A dish in various colors.
A dish, in which each part has a different color, is made like so: Roast chickens on a spit, but do not put them too close together. And when they are roasted, make six colors, the white is made like so: Take an egg white, put a little flour into it, make a thin batter. Brown is made like so: Take sour cherry jam, make a brown batter with eggs and flour. The yellow make like so: Take egg yolks, some wheat flour, saffron and three or four eggs, out of which make a batter. Green is made as follows: Take parsley, and strain it together with eggs through a cloth, put flour with it and make a batter. Black, take flour and eggs, make a paste out of it, put powdered cloves therein which have steeped overnight in beaten eggs, put enough into it, so that it becomes truly black. When you have made the five colors after this fashion, then baste each chicken with its color and take care that it is no longer too hot. And when the color is dry and adheres, then draw the chickens off the spit and lay them next to the other roasted meats on a dish.
Welserin initially suggests she is going to give recipes for six colours, but only gives five. Perhaps the sixth colour is the plain roast brown? Other than the white colour, the food ‘paints’ sound pretty tasty too, I think.
There are other good-old ideas in this medieval cookery book, so we will visit it again tomorrow.
Quotation for the Day.
I love chicken. I would eat chicken fingers on Thanksgiving if it were socially acceptable