|Chap. II||Crane or Duck, Partridge, Doves, Wood Pigeon, Squab and Divers Birds.|
1 Tac., Tor. Trophetes; probably an error in their rendering. List. Aëroptes, Greek for Fowl.
2 The titles of these chapters and the classification not adhered in the text of Book VI. The chapters are actually inscribed as follows:
Chap. I, Ostrich; II, Crane or Duck, Partridge, Turtle Dove, Wood Pigeon, Squab and divers birds; III, Partridge, Heathcock (Woodcock), Turtle Dove; IV, Wood Pigeon, Squab [Domestic Fattened Fowl, Flamingo]; V, Sauce for divers birds; VI, Flamingo; VII, In Order That Birds May Not Be Spoiled; VIII, Goose; IX, Chicken.
A stock in which to cook ostrich: pepper, mint, cumin, leeks,1 celery seed, dates, honey, vinegar, raisin wine, broth, a little oil. Boil this in the stock kettle with the ostrich, remove the bird when done, strain the liquid thicken with roux. To this sauce add the ostrich meat cut in convenient pieces, sprinkle p142with pepper. If you wish it more seasoned or tasty, add garlic during coction.
1 G.‑V. Cuminum; Tor. C., porrum, which is more likely.
Pepper, lovage, thyme, also satury, honey, mustard, vinegar, broth and oil.
Wash the fowl and dress it nicely1 put in a stew pot, add water, salt and dill, parboil2 so as to have them half done, until the meat is hard, remove them, put them in a sauce pan to be finished by braising with oil, broth, a bunch of origany and coriander; when nearly done, add a little reduced must, to give it color. Meanwhile crush pepper, lovage, cumin, coriander, laser root, rue moistened with reduced wine and some honey, add some of the fowl broth3 to it and vinegar to taste; empty the sauce into a sauce pan, heat, bind with roux, and strain the sauce over the fowl in an entrée dish.
1 Lavas et ornas, i.e., singe, empty carcass of intestines, truss or bind it to keep its shape during coction, and, usually, lard it with either strips or slices of fat pork and stuff the carcass with greens, celery leaves, etc.
2 Dimidia coctura decoques. Apicius here pursues the right course for the of any disagreeable taste often adhering to aquatic fowl, feeding on fish or food found in the water, by parboiling the meat. Cf. ℞ No. 214.
3 Again, as so often: ius de suo sibi; here the liquor of the braising pan, for stock in which the fowl is parboiled cannot be used for reasons set forth in Note 2.
Pepper, shallots, lovage, cumin, celery seed, prunes or Damascus plums stones removed, fresh must, vinegar,1 broth, reduced must and oil. Boil the crane; while cooking it take care that its head is not touched by the water but that it remains without. When the crane is done, wrap it in a hot towel, and pull the head off so that the sinews follow in a manner that the meat and the bones remain; for one cannot enjoy the hard sinews.2
1 Dann. mead.
2 Remarkable ingenuity! Try this on your turkey legs. Danneil is of the opinion that the head and its feathers were to be saved for decorative purposes, in style during the middle ages when game bird patties were decorated with the fowl's plumage, a custom which survived to Danneil's time (ca. 1900). But this is not likely to be the case here, for it would be a simple matter to skin the bird before cooking it in order to save the plumage for the taxidermist.
Take out (remove entrails),2 clean wash and dress the bird and parboil2 it in water with salt and dill. Next prepared turnips and cook them in water which is to be squeezed out.3 Take them out of the pot and wash them again.4 And put into a sauce pan the duck with oil, broth, a bunch of leeks and coriander; the turnips cut into small pieces; these put on top of the duck in order to finish cooking. When half done, to give it color, add reduced must. The sauce is prepared separately: pepper, cumin, coriander, laser root moistened with vinegar and diluted with its own broth of the fowl; bring this to a boiling point, thicken with roux. In a deep dish arrange the duck on top of the turnips; strain the sauce over it, sprinkle with pepper and serve.
1 Duck and Turnips, a dish much esteemed on the Continent today. Only p144few prepare it correctly as does Old Apicius; hence it is not popular with the multitude.
2 Tac., Tor. excipies; Hum. legendum: ex rapis.
3 G.‑V. ut exbromari possint; Tor. expromi; Hum. expromari; all of which does not mean anything. To cook the turnips so that they can be squeezed out (exprimo, from ex and premo) is the proper thing to do from a culinary standpoint.
4 The turnips are cooked half, the water removed, and finished with the duck, as prescribed by Apicius. It is really admirable to see how he handles these food materials in order to remove any disagreeable flavor, which may be the case both with the turnips (the small white variety) and the duck. Such careful treatment is little known nowadays even in the best kitchens. Cf. Note 1 to ℞ No. 212.
Pepper, lovage, cumin, dry coriander, mint, origany, pine nuts, dates, broth, oil, honey, mustard and wine.1
1 Supposedly the ingredients for a sauce in which the parboiled fowl is braised and served.
Pour over the roast bird this gravy: crush pepper, lovage, origany with broth, honey, a little vinegar and oil; boil it well, thicken with roux, strain. In this sauce place small pieces of parboiled pumpkin or colocasium1 so that they are finished in the sauce; also cook with it chicken feet and giblets all of which serve in a chafing dish, sprinkle with fine pepper and serve.
Pepper, lovage, celery seed, rocket, or coriander, mint, dates, honey, vinegar, broth, reduced must and mustard. Likewise used for fowl roast braised in the pot.
Pepper, lovage, celery seed, mint, myrtle berries, also raisins, honey,1 wine, vinegar, broth, and oil. Use it cold.2 The partridge is scalded with its feathers, and while wet the feathers are taken off; the hairº singed it is then cooked in its own juice braised and when done will not be hard if care is taken to baste it. Should it remain hard if it is old you must continue to cook it until it is tender.
Pepper, lovage, mint, rue seed, broth, pure wine, and oil, heated.
For roasts; pepper, lovage, coriander, carraway, shallots, mint, yolks of egg, dates, honey, vinegar, broth, oil and wine.
1 Tor. wanting in other texts.
Pepper, lovage, parsley, celery seed, rue, pine nuts, dates, honey, vinegar, broth, mustard and a little oil.
Pepper, dry cumin, crushed. Lovage, mint, seedless raisins or Damascus plums, little honey, myrtle wine to taste, vinegar, broth, and oil. Heat and whip it well with celery and satury.1
1 For centuries sauce whips were made of dry and green twigs, the bark of which was carefully peeled off.
Pepper, lovage, parsley, dry mint, fennel blossoms1 moistened with wine; add roasted nuts from Pontus2 or almonds, a little honey, wine, vinegar, and broth to taste. Put oil in a pot, and heat and stir the sauce, adding green celery seed, cat-mint; carve the fowl and cover with the sauce.3
Pepper, lovage, cumin, celery seed, toasted nuts from Pontus, or almonds, also shelled pine nuts, honey,1 a little broth, vinegar and oil.
1 Tor. vel; List. mel.
Pepper, carraway, Indian spikenard, cumin, bay leaves, all kinds of green herbs, dates, honey, vinegar, wine, little broth, and oil.
Pepper, carraway, cumin, celery seed, thyme, onion, laser root, toasted nuts, honey, vinegar, broth and oil.1
1 A "sweet-sour" white sauce with herbs and spices is often served with goose in northern Germany.
For birds of all kinds that have a goatish1b smell2 pepper, lovage, thyme, dry mint, sage, dates, honey, vinegar, wine, broth, oil, reduced must, mustard. The birds will be more luscious and nutritious, and the fat preserved, if you envelop them in a dough of flour and oil and bake them in the oven.3
1a 1b Probably game birds in an advanced stage of "haut goût" (as the Germans use the antiquated French term), or "mortification" as the French cook says. Possibly also such birds as crows, black birds, buzzards, etc., and fish-feeding fowl. Moreover, it must be borne in mind that the refrigeration facilities of the ancients were not too good and that fresh goods spoiled quickly. Hence, perhaps, excessive seasoning, at least, as compared to our modern methods.
List. aves piscivoras; Hum. thinks the birds to be downright spoiled: olidas, rancidas, & grave olentes.
2 Tor. Sentence wanting in other texts.
3 For birds with a goatish smell Apicius should have repeated his excellent formula in ℞ No. 212, the method of parboiling the birds before final coction, if, indeed, one cannot dispense with such birds altogether. The above recipe does not in the least indicate how to treat smelly birds. Wrapping them in dough would vastly increase the ill-savour.
As for game birds, we agree with most connoisseurs that they should have just a suspicion of "haut goût" — a condition of advanced mellowness after the rigor mortis has disappeared.
If the birds smell,1 stuff the inside with crushed fresh olives, sew up the aperture and thus cook, then retire the cooked olives.
1 Tor.; other texts aliter avem, i.e. that the olive treatment is not necessarily confined to ill smelling birds alone.
Scald1 the flamingo, wash and dress it, put it in a pot, add water, salt, dill, and a little vinegar, to be parboiled. Finish cooking with a bunch of leeks and coriander, and add some reduced must to give it color. In the mortar crush pepper, cumin, coriander, laser root, mint, rue, moisten with vinegar, add dates, and the fond of the braised bird, thicken, strain, cover the bird with the sauce and serve. Parrot is prepared in the same manner.
Roast the bird. Crush pepper, lovage, celery seed, ,1 parsley, mint, shallots, dates, honey, wine, broth, vinegar, oil, reduced must to taste.
1 Tor. sesamum, defrutum; G.‑V. s. frictum.
Scalded with the feathers birds will not always be juicy; it is better to first empty them through the neck and steam them suspended over a kettle with water.1
1 Dry picking is of course the best method. Apicius is trying to overcome the evils of scalding fowl with the feathers. This formula is mutilated; the various texts differ considerably.
Crush pepper, lovage, coriander seed,1 mint, rue, moisten with broth and a moderate amount of oil. Take the cooked goose out of the pot and while hot wipe it clean with a towel, pour the sauce over it and serve.
1 G.‑V.; Tor. (fresh) coriander, more suited for a cold sauce.
1 This and the preceding cold dressings are more or less variations of our modern cold dressings that are used for cold dishes of all kinds, especially salads.
2 Tor. heads the following formula praeparatio pulli anethi — chicken in dill sauce, which is the correct description of the above formula. Tac., G.‑V. also commence the next with pullum anethatum, which is not correct, as the following recipe contains no dill.
A little honey is mixed with broth; the cooked [parboiled] chicken is cleaned (skin taken off, sinews, etc., removed), the carcass dried with a towel, quartered, the pieces immersed in broth2 so that the savour penetrates thoroughly. Fry the pieces in the pan. Pour over their own gravy, sprinkle with pepper, serve.
2 Marinated; but the nature of this marinade is not quite clear; a spicy marinade of wine and herbs and spices would be appropriate for certain game birds, but chicken ordinarily requires no marinade except some oil before frying. It is possible that Apicius left the cooked chicken in the broth to prevent it from drying out, which is good.
Dress the chicken carefully2 and quarter it. Crush pepper, lovage and a little carraway3 moistened with broth, and add wine to taste. After frying place the chicken in an earthen dish,4 pour the seasoning over it, add laser and wine.5 Let it assimilate with the seasoning and braise the chicken to a point. When done sprinkle with pepper and serve.
1 Lister is of the opinion that the pullus Parthicus is a kind of chicken that came originally from Asia, Parthia being a country of Asia, the present Persia and northern India, a chicken of small size with feathers on its feet, i.e., a bantam.
2 Pluck, singe, empty, wash, trim. The texts: a navi. Hum. hoc est, à parte posteriore ventris, qui ut navis cavus & figurae ejus non dissimile est. Dan. takes this literally, but navo (navus) here simply means "to perform diligently."
3 Tor. casei modicum; List. carei — more likely than cheese.
4 Cumana — an earthenware casserole excellent for that purpose.
5 G.‑V. laser [et] vivum.
A good-sized glass of oil, a smaller glass of broth, and the smallest measure of vinegar, 6 scruples of pepper, parsley and a bunch of leeks.
G.‑V. [laseris] satis modice.
These directions are very vague. If the raw chicken is quartered, fried in the oil, and then braised in the broth with a dash of vinegar, the bunch of leeks and parsley, season ed with pepper and a little salt, we have a dish gastronomically correct. The leeks may be served as a garnish, the gravy, properly reduced and strained over the chicken which like in the previous formula is served in a casserole.
Prepare1 the chicken as usual; parboil it; clean it2 seasoned with laser and pepper, and fry in the pan; next crush pepper, cumin, coriander seed, laser root, rue, fig dates and nuts, moistened with vinegar, honey, broth and oil to taste.3 When boiling thicken with roux, strain, pour over the chicken, sprinkle with pepper and serve.
p151 2 Remove skin, tissues, bones, etc., cut in pieces and marinate in the pickle.
3 Immerse the chicken pieces in this sauce and braise them to a point.
Dress the chicken carefully.1 Clean, garnish2 and place in an earthen casserole. Crush pepper, lovage, laser moistened with wine3 add broth and wine to taste, and put this on the fire; when done serve with pepper sprinkled over.
2 G.‑V. lavabis, ornabis, with vegetables, etc.
3 G.‑V. laser vivum.
A little laser, 6 scruples of pepper, a glass of oil, a glass of broth, and a little parsley.
1 Paropsis, parapsis, from the Greek, a platter, dish. A most incomplete formula. It does not state whether the ingredients are to be added to the sauce or the dressing. We have an idea that the chicken is pickled in this solution before roasting and that the pickle is used in making the gravy.
Crush pepper, cumin, a little thyme, fennel seed, mint, rue, laser root, moistened with vinegar, add fig dates;1 work well and make it savory with honey, vinegar, broth and oil to taste: the boiled chicken properly cleaned and dried with the towel is masked with this sauce.2
1 Goll. cloves — cariophyllus; the originals have caryotam and careotam.
To the above described dressing add mustard, pour over1 and serve.
1 G.‑V. Perfundes; Tor. piper fundes. The pumpkin, not mentioned here, is likewise served cold boiled, seasoned with the same dressing. It is perhaps used for stuffing the chicken and cooked simultaneously with the same.
The above sauce is also used for this dish. Stuff the chicken with peeled dasheens and stoned green olives, though not too much, so that the dressing may have room for expansion, to prevent bursting while the chicken is being cooked in the pot. Hold it down with a small basket, lift it up frequently2 and handle carefully so that the chicken does not burst.3
2 For inspection. G.‑V. levas; Tor. lavabis, for which there is no reason.
3 Dann. and Goll., not knowing the colocasium or dasheen have entirely erroneous versions of this formula. The dasheen is well adapted for the stuffing of fowl. Ordinarily the dasheen is boiled or steamed, mashed, seasoned and then stuffed inside of a raw chicken which is then roasted. Being very starchy, the dasheen readily absorbs the fats and juices of the roast, making a delicious dressing, akin in taste to a combined potato and chestnut purée.
As the above chicken is cooked in bouillon or water, the dasheen may be used in a raw state for filling. We have tried this method. Instead of confining the chicken in a basket, we have tied it in a napkin and boiled slowly until done. Serve cold, with the above dressing.
Cook the chicken in this stock: broth, oil, wine, a bunch of leeks, coriander, satury; when done, crush pepper, nuts with 2 glasses of water2 and the juice of the chicken. Retire the bunches of greens, add milk to taste. The things crushed in the mortar add to the chicken and cook it together: thicken the sauce with beaten whites of egg3 and pour the sauce over the chicken. This is called "white sauce."
1 G.‑V. Vardanus; Tor. Vardamus; Hum. Vardanus legendum, puto, Varianus, portentuosae luxuriae Imperator. Hum. thinks the dish is dedicated to emperor Varianus (?) The word may also be the adjective of Varus, Quintilius Varus, commander of colonial armies and glutton, under Augustus. Varus committed suicide after his defeat in the Teutoburg Forest by the Germans.
2 G.‑V. broth, own stock — ius de suo sibi.
3 Strain, avoid ebullition after the eggs have been added. Most unusual p153liaison; usually the yolks are used for this purpose. The whites are consistent with the name of the sauce.
A half-cooked chicken marinaded in a pickle of broth, mixed with oil, to which is added a bunch of dill, leeks, satury and green coriander. Finish it in this broth. When done, take the chicken out2 dress it nicely on a dish, pour over the sauce, colored with reduced must, sprinkle with pepper and serve.
1 Named for a Roman by the name of Fronto. There is a sucking pig à la Fronto, too. Cf. ℞ No. 374. M. Cornelius Fronto was orator and author during the reign of Emperor Hadrian. According to Dann. a certain Frontoneº under Emperor Severus.
2 List., G.‑V. levabis; Tor. lavabis, for which there is little or no occasion. He may mean to clean, i.e. remove skin, tissues, sinews, small bones, etc.
Cook the chicken as follows, in broth, oil, with wine added, to which add a bunch of coriander and green onions. When done take it out,3 strain and save the broth, and put it in a new sauce pan, add milk and a little salt, honey and a pint4 of water, that is, a third part: place it back on a slow fire to simmer. Finally break the paste,1 put it little by little into the boiling broth stirring well so it will not burn. Put the chicken in, either whole or in pieces;5 dish it out in a deep dish. This cover with the following sauce:6 pepper, lovage, origany, moistened with honey and a little reduced must. Add some of the chicken broth, heat in a small sauce pan and when it boils thicken with roux7 and serve.
1 Spätzle, noodles, macaroni; this dish is the ancient "Chicken Tetrazzini." Dann. Chicken pie or patty.
2 tractum and gala, prepared with paste and milk. Cf. tractomelitus, from tractum and meli, paste and honey.
p154 4 List. minimum; Tor. heminam; Sch. eminam. See Measures. The noodle paste should be cooked separately in the water.
5 List. vel carptum, which is correct. Tor. vel careotam, out of place here.
6 This sauce seems to be superfluous. Very likely it is a separate formula for a sauce of some kind.
7 Seems superfluous, too. The noodle paste in the chicken gravy makes it sufficiently thick.
Empty the chicken through the aperture of the neck so that none of the entrails remain. Crush pepper, lovage, ginger, cut meat,2 cooked spelt; besides crush brains cooked in the chicken broth, break eggs and mix all together in order to make a solid dressing; add broth to taste and a little oil, whole pepper, plenty of nuts. With this dressing stuff either a chicken or a suckling pig, leaving enough room for expansion.3
1 Tor. fusilis.
2 Preferably raw pork or veal.
3 A most sumptuous dressing; it compares favorably with our popular stale bread pap usually called "chicken dressing."
The capon is stuffed in a similar way but is cooked with all the bones removed.2
1 Sch. in capso. May be interpreted thus: Cooked in an envelope of caul or linen, in which case it would correspond to our modern galantine of chicken.
2 Tor. ossibus eiectis; Hum. omnibus e.; i.e. all the entrails, etc., which is not correct. The bones must be relieved from the capon in this case.
Take a chicken and prepare ita as above. Empty it through the of the neck so that none of the entrails remain. Take a little water3 and plenty of Spanish oil, stir, cook together until all moisture is evaporated.4 When this is done take the chicken out, so that the greatest possible p155amount of oil remains behind.5 Sprinkle with pepper and serve.6
1 The ancient version of Chicken à la Maryland, Wiener Backhähndl, etc.
3 The use of water to clarify the oil which is to serve as a deep frying fat is an ingenious idea, little practised today. It surely saves the fat or oil, prevents premature burning or blackening by frequent use, and gives a better tasting friture. The above recipe is a mere fragment, but even this reveals the extraordinary knowledge of culinary principles of Apicius who reveals himself to us as a master of well-understood principles of good cookery that are so often ignored today. Cf. Note 5 to ℞ No. 497.
4 The recipe fails to state that the chicken must be breaded, or that the pieces of chicken be turned in flour, etc., and fried in the oil.
5 Another vital rule of deep fat frying not stated, or rather stated in the language of the kitchen, namely that the chicken must be crisp, dry, that is, not saturated with oil, which of course every good fry cook knows.
6 With the cream sauce, prepared separately, spread on the platter, with the fried chicken inside, or the sauce in a separate dish, we have here a very close resemblance to a very popular modern dish. (Schuch and Danneil insert here Excerpta XXIX, XXX and XXXI.)
End of Book VI
explicit trophetes Apicii. Liber sextus [Tac.]
Images with borders lead to more information.
A page or image on this site is in the public domain ONLY
Page updated: 11 Oct 12