Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Re-think on boiled chicken, this is why we research/experiment

I have been playing around with boiling hens lately and have decided on a few things

  • for chicken in white broth: you have to do a fair bit of cooking in just the verjuice/water/spice before adding the fruit to the broth for full whiteness (yeah, that was a doh! the second time cooking it)
  • boiling a chicken is like pre-carving it and contributes to much less waste, it is very easy to pull most of the meat from the bone without losing any... as opposed to roasting where it would make more sense to carve fresh at the table than for boiled. 
  • it stands to make sense on boiling a chicken with various items, that the items are to be strained out of the sauce afterwards... likely along with the bits of chicken stuff left from the meat.
Now, with modern knowledge, we would never think of trying to keep a boiled chicken whole... except for showing off maybe - which I would not put past the medieval cook (so we have to try, don't we). However, by the nature of some of these recipes, it seems like a very plausible conclusion that the meat from boiled hens is to be removed from the bone, the sauce strained to clear, and the both plattered together. (in the case of the chicken in white broth, served together with stewed prunes on top... which is why they are stewed separate)

I have been working on a project inspired by the SCA and am cooking 50 meals from recipes pre-dating 1600 and have this recipe along with others I have tried with photos on a facebook page:

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