What, Where, When:
- Chicken in a cinnamon sauce thickened with breadcrumbs.
- Based on a recipe from central France, dated to approximately 1466.
Original Recipe and Translation
Ung broet kamelin. Les amandez broyees avecques l’escorce. Ce sont lez espicez qui y faillent: graine de paradis, gingibre, et poivre long, et grand foison de canele, et du succre, et tostez doradez a mectre par dessus quant on le dresses – Le Recuil de Riom.
A cinnamon broth. Almonds are crushed with their skins. These are the spices needed: grain of paradise, ginger, and long pepper, and a great abundance of cinnamon, and of sugar, and toast is put under it when it is served. (Translation by Jennifer Soucy)
This recipe is from Le Recuil de Riom, a source more fully discussed in the full translation.
- The subtleties of the word “brouet” are outside the scope of this work. Though translated here as “broth”, the actual consistency of these dishes could range from soup to stew, and everywhere in between. These dishes include a liquid, a flavorant, and a thickener, and may or may not include meat. (T. Scully, The Viandier of Taillevent: An Edition of all Extant Manuscripts 18)
- “tostez doradez” – This literally means “golden toast”. This probably refers to simple sops of bread to absorb the brouet; however, “Golden Toast” is used to refer to a specific dish by Taillevent that closely resembles modern French Toast. (T. Scully, The Viandier of Taillevent: An Edition of all Extant Manuscripts 252)
- This recipe neglects to include the meat that the brouet is served with – other recipes for this dish from Taillevent, etc, include chicken, and so I did too. The chicken probably would have been whole chicken, partially boiled, then cut into portions, sautéed and finished in the sauce – due to the tenderness of today’s chicken, preboiling isn’t entirely necessary.
1 lb boneless chicken thighs
8 oz almonds
5 5-inch sticks of cinnamon (not cassia)
2 tsp grains of paradise
1 tablespoon ground ginger
½ cup sugar
2 cups chicken broth
- Saute chicken in a small amount of fat (olive oil, in this case).
- While sautéing, grind almonds, sugar and spices finely in food processor, then add broth and continue to process for an additional 5 minutes.
- Strain spiced almond milk into chicken.
- Carefully simmer, stirring often, until sauce thickens – sauce can scorch or separate easily.
Sources are detailed here.