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Recipe For A hen Stuffed Without bones


This is an excerpt from An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook
(Andalusia, 13th c. - Charles Perry, trans.)
The original source can be found at David Friedman's website

Recipe for a Hen Stuffed Without Bones. Slit the throat of a hen, as large and plump as possible, and inflate it well while still warm after tying up the neck. Then pluck it gently so as not to burst it, and as soon as you are done plucking it, divide it along the back from neck to tail, and skin it little by little with all possible care until it is all skinned except the tips of the wings, for these are left with their skin. Then take all the meat with the breast and pound it strongly in a mortar, and pound it with peeled almond, nuts, and cold breadcrumbs steeped in cilantro juice. Then take what is inside it [liver and giblets] and boil it with water and salt until it is cooked, cut it in small pieces on a wooden board, and add this to the pounded meat. Put all this to fry and add cilantro juice and murri in the necessary amounts, with whole peppercorns, cinnamon, Chinese cinnamon, lavender, and galingale, cook eggs, shell them, and keep the yolk aside, cut the white finely and add it to the stuffing. Break over this eight or ten eggs, put it on a moderate fire and stir with a spoon until ... and place the stuffing. Then return the stuffing and pound it in such manner that it will not fall apart, then stuff the skin that was peeled off with this stuffing, after sewing it up on all sides, but leave a hole where the stuffing can go in. Place cooked eggyolks under the wings, thighs, and legs until it takes the form that the hen had before it was gently stuffed. Then sew up the hole where the stuffing was put in, and let there be as much water as necessary to cover it. Then moisten [reading uthqubhâ , "puncture," as isqîhâ] with vinegar on all sides lest it dry out, [taking care] that [the skin] is not separated or punctured, but only after putting in the water. And when the stuffing is on the point of being done, take it out of the water and put it in a pot or a tajine and sprinkle it with murri and oil, clean the mortar in which the meat of the chicken was pounded, put a little thyme with it, and rub it with the thyme, and send [the chicken] to the bread oven until the sides are browned, and watch that it not burn. Then spread a dish with citron leaves. Take the chicken out and split the chicken in half from above to below and leave it ...[about four words missing]... some clove, pepper, Chinese cinnamon and cinnamon, sprinkle them over it and over both pieces, garnish it with toasted almonds, and present it.

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