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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Historical Recipe of the Week

This week's recipe is courtesy of the National Trust. It's a warming winter casserole and it dates from the 14th century. It serves 4, but sadly not 4 peasants because the ingredients would have been too expensive for them to buy. The recipe comes from the cooks of King Richard II who recorded their recipes on a parchment called The Forme of Cury, Cury being Old English for the word cooking.

Casseroled Pigeon with Herbs and Spices

Ingredients: 4 pigeons, 12 large cloves of garlic, 4 teaspoons of chopped fresh thyme, 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley, Salt and freshly milled black pepper, dripping for frying, half a pint of chicken stock, the juice of half a lemon, a large pinch of ground ginger, a pinch of saffron strands, half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, fresh herbs to garnish.


Go to your dovecote and fetch fresh pigeons. Go to your walled garden to cut fresh herbs. Stuff the pigeons with three garlic cloves, one teaspoon of thyme and half a teaspoon of parsley. Season them with salt and pepper then brown them in fat in a casserole dish. Pour over the stock and add lemon juice, ginger, saffron and cinnamon. Cover with a lid and cook in the centre of a moderate oven (180C, 350F, gas mark 4) for one to one and a half hours. Serve on a slice of wholemeal toast and garnish with fresh herbs. Enjoy!


Amanda McCabe said...

Nicola, this actually sounds pretty good! :) I might use chicken rather than pigeon, though, not having a handy dovecote around...

Nicola Cornick said...

let us know what it tastes like, Amanda, if you do decide to try it. Actually maybe that's a better idea... If anyone would like to contribute reviews of historical recipes, please let me know!

Traxy said...

Maybe some pigeons could be got from the local farmers market... it'd be interesting to try out the recipe! :)

Nicola Cornick said...

We occasionally get give pigeons and game birds by the local farmer but they usually have shot in them which puts me off as I'm rather squeamish!