Cook's Alphabet 'H'
This is the eighth in my series of 28 postings going through the entire alphabet, as it relates to cooks and cooking. As you can see, today I'm dealing with the letter 'H'.
The letter 'H' is, of course the eighth letter in the alphabet, and today's recipe is for a Medieval chicken recipe (or henne as they were called 700 years ago):
Henne in Bokenade (Chicken in Sauce)
1 whole chicken
fresh chicken broth (optional)
1 small bunch of parsley, chopped
2 tbsp chopped sage leaves
1 tbsp chopped hyssop
1 tsp mace
1 tsp cloves
1 dozen egg yolks, beaten
1 tbsp ginger
120ml verjuice (or red wine vinegar)
1/8 tsp saffron
1/8 tsp salt
Place the chicken in a large pot and add just enough water or fresh chicken broth to cover. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and continue cooking until the meat is tender and falling from the bone.
Remove the chicken from the broth and allow to drain and cool. Pick the meat from the bones, discarding the fat and skin, and cut into large chunks. Place the meat in a separate large pot then strain the broth to discard all meat, fat, etc. Add just enough broth to the chicken in the pot to just cover the top of the meat. Then add the herbs a bring to a boil before reducing heat. Beat in the egg yolks, spices, and vinegar and simmer until thick.
(This recipe reproduced, with permission, from the Celtnet Ginger Cake Recipe page which is part of the Celtnet Medieval Recipes collection. )
Today's cooking term is Hard Crack Stage: Hard Crack Stage is a stage in the boiling of sugar, when the sugar reaches about 149–154°C and 99% sugar content by weight. At this stage the sugar will solidify into threads that will shatter at the slightest torsion (sideways pressure) when a drop of the sugar syrup is poured into water. This is the ideal stage for making toffee, nut brittles and lollipops.
Today's spice is Horseradish: Horseradish is a member of the brassicae (mustard or cabbage) family, which, like its relative, wasabi, has a root that has deposits of allyl isothiocyanate (mustard oil) within it. When the skin is broken it releases this mustard oil to irritate the sinuses of the nose and the eyes and it's this that makes horseradish an ideal condiment.
For more information on cookery-associated terms and information beginning with the letter 'H' here are various links that may well be of interest:
Recipes beginning with 'H'
Spices beginning with 'H'
Herbs beginning with 'H'
Wild foods beginning with 'H'
Cook's glossary 'H'