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87. A Very Singular Distilled Broth For Sick And Weakened People

This is an excerpt from Libre del Coch
(Spain, 1520 - Robin Carroll-Mann, trans.)
The original source can be found at Mark S. Harris' Florilegium

87. A VERY SINGULAR DISTILLED BROTH FOR SICK AND WEAKENED PEOPLE. Take a hen well-plucked and cleaned, and cut it to pieces in such a manner that it will fit through the neck of a jug; and break the bones well in such a manner that the substance can well come out of them. And when it is in the jug, cast in for each hen a glass of rosewater, and fifteen or twenty cloves of gilofre; and cast everything inside the jug, and then stop it up very well, in such a manner that none of the substance of the hen can come out, with your dough made with rosewater; and then you must take a cauldron full of water with a handful of straws of barley or hay at the bottom of the cauldron, and upon the straw put the jug and set it to cook on the fire; and boiling the water of the cauldron will also boil the jug; and let the boil not be vigorous, but gentle; and cook it in this manner a good three and a half hours , and there will remain in the jug a reasonable quantity of broth; and this broth is a very extraordinary thing for those who are ill; and the straw must be put on the bottom of the cauldron so that the jug does not touch the bottom of the cauldron; because otherwise, the boiling of the cauldron would run the risk of breaking the jug, and if it did not break, the broth would absorb the flavor of the cauldron.

And if you desire to make this broth of greater sustenance for invalids who are very weak and are consumptive, you can cast in the juice of a roasted mutton leg; and not much, but something more than half-roasted, giving it some cuts until the knife goes to the bone; and press it vigorously between two chopping blocks, so that all the juice comes out of said leg, and let it fall upon the dish of concentrated broth; and cast in a little bit of unripe grapes, well-ground, with some basil leaves; and this broth is a very singular thing, and of very great sustenance; and if you wish to make it of a much greater sustenance that will revive half-dead bodies and those who are at the end of life, cast into the embers or live coals, fifty pieces of gold which are very fine; and when the said pieces are glowing a great deal, remove them with very clean tongs and cast them in the broth; and if you do this two or three times, the broth will be of greater virtue; and however much more it is done, its virtue will multiply; and this broth is of such excellence that it has no price nor can its value be estimated.


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