Chicken glazed green and gold in Poullaille farcie

Chicken glazed green and gold in Poullaille farcie

Poullaille Farcie is chicken stuffed with meat, nuts, eggs, and spices, and glazed green and gold was cook in France of 14th century. This is a medieval recipe which means that it was cooked in a period when The Middle Ages in Europe ran from the disintegration of the western Roman Empire around 500 to the beginnings of the modern era around 1500. Society was mostly rural and agricultural, with a majority of peasant farmers working for a landholding warrior nobility, but cities, trade, and merchants steadily grew after 1000 or so. Poullaille Farcie, this noble dish certainly was prepared during this period for the class which ruled the entire society.

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken, with the feet and head still attached (often available through a Kosher butcher)
  • 1 lb. mixture of mutton, veal, and chicken dark-meat, or a combination or single use of any of these meats, cooked and diced or ground
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup cooked chestnuts (whole or ground)
  • 1 cup mozzarella or brie, diced or shredded
  • ½ – 1 tsp. each of spices: black & white pepper, savory, cumin, etc. Use to taste.
  • few thread saffron (or few drops yellow food coloring)
  • ½ tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • few drops yellow & green food coloring
  • unseasoned bread crumbs (optional)

Cooking method

Combine all ingredients except chicken in a large bowl; mix well. Stuff the chicken with this mixture, reserving the leftover stuffing. With your hands, gently rub olive oil over the entire bird, then lay belly-down on foil on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Cover the delicate areas of the feet, head, and wings with foil to prevent overcooking. Place the bird in a 350° F oven and bake just until the skin begins to turn golden brown. Try not to overcook as the bird will fall apart if it becomes too tender. Remove from oven and very carefully remove the foil from the wings, etc. Immediately brush the entire bird with egg yolk which has been dyed either gold or green, or use a combination of colors in any whimsical manner that you like. Return to the oven for just a few seconds, to set the glaze – be careful not to overheat as it will spoil the colors. Remove from oven, place on a serving platter, and garnish with “eggs” made from the leftover stuffing.

To make the “eggs,” take the remainder of the stuffing and mold it into small, egg-shaped balls. If your stuffing is too moist to work with, add enough bread crumbs to make a malleable mixture. Place the eggs on a well greased baking sheet and bake at 350° F for ½ hour, or until done. At this point, if you wish the eggs to match the hen in color, you may also brush the eggs with colored yolk, with a quick return to the oven to set the glaze. When ready, place along side the hen on its serving platter.

Walnuts make a suitable substitution for the chestnuts, an ingredient often not readily available.

Ideally, your hen and its eggs should be roasted on a spit, which was a staple of every Medieval kitchen hearth. Sadly, unless one is lucky enough to have a home rotisserie, roasting in an oven will have to suffice for the modern cook. Spit-roasting gives the eggs a wonderfully 3-dimensional effect, but roasting in an oven produces an egg which is flat on one side.

During roasting, some of the stuffing may pour out of the chicken from the back opening onto the baking sheet. This unattractive lump should be removed before placing the hen on the serving platter, for appearance’s sake.

Recipe source: A Boke of Gode Cookery

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