Thoughts on TGRWT16: Chicken and Rose

TGRWT-16 was Chicken and Rose. I am pretty late to the party on posting this, but the gears of work are grinding away at my free time. However, I did make a note to myself:
I am sure there is a persian or middle eastern recipe for this already. Something old school.

Googling around, I did manage to find a recipe:
Take Orenges or Lemmons pilled, and cutte them the long way, and if you can keepe your cloves whole and put them into your best broth of Mutton or Capon with prunes and currants and three or fowre dates, and when these have beene well sodden put whole pepper, great mace, a good peece of suger, and some rose water, and either white or claret Wine, and let all these seeth together a while, & so serve it upon soppes with your capon.

So old school, this recipe is simply called "To Boile A Capon With Orenges And Lemmons" and which according to the some random site on the internet was first published in the 1594 classic cookbook, The Good Huswife's Handmaide For the Kitchen. This shakespearian era cookbook was one of the earliest cookbooks targetted towards the middle class (perhaps because that was the first time in history the middle class was literate). As you may know, I am not going to rely on just one random internet website when I can rely on a couple. Ay, there's the rub.

That SCA joinin', armour wearin', spellin' armor 'armour' wearing mother fucker had his attribution totally wrong. The true source of this recipe is from the way more contemporary smash hit The Good Huswife's Jewell of 1596. There is a similarly named recipe in The Good Huswife's Handmaide For The Kitchen called confusingly enough "To Boyle A Capon With Orenges Or Lemmons".

The recipe from that book is:
Take your Capon and boyle him tender,
and take a litle of the broth when it is boiled,
and put it into a pipkin, with Mace and
Sugar a good deale, and pare three Orenges
and pill them, and put them in your pipkin,
and boyle them a litle among your broth, and
thicken it with wine and yolks of Egges, and
Sugar a good deale, and salt but a litle, and
set your broth no more on the fyre, for quailing,
and serue it in without sippets.

Well, Boyle Me Tender
So anyways, we clearly have evidence of Chicken and Rose flavor pairings dating back to a time where our mouth breathing ancestors could point at someone, call them a witch and then burn them alive. Today, we could do it a little more humanely. Like vaccuum seal them and toss them in a temperature controlled waterbath at the precise temperature required to kill a witch (note to nathanm/baldwin or keller/ruhlman: please produce a temperature chart for properly cooking witches at various thicknesses).

Now that I've gotten all Federman on you, allow me to get back on topic...

Apart from Elizabethan era cookbooks, you are most likely going to find rosewater in middle eastern/persian recipes. For example, Djaj Bel Loz (Chicken with Almonds and Honey) is a Moroccan dish that can contain rosewater. Feeling some south of the border love? Try adapting the Quail With Rose Petals recipe found in Like Water For Chocolate.

I am going to call this flavor pairing a win.


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