Chicken & Game
Recettes de la Cuisine
(Recipes from the Kitchen)

Wherein is shown the finest methods of preparing and cooking a variety of edibles and drinkables.

These recipes are taken from original 17th century cookbooks and transcribed for use by the modern cook.

The recipes that are found in seventeenth and even eighteenth century cookbooks are not standardized as to measurement of ingredients. They are full of measurements such as:

flour the weight of four eggs
a wine glass for liquids
spoonful or butter the size of an egg

All of the following recipes serve 6 people

Also note please, as I was reading over these recipes I noticed some of the ingredients mentioned in the recipe itself to be missing from the ingredient list. I have tried to include everything, however, if I miss something please feel free to email me with any corrections.

Fish & Shellfish

A successful 17th century dinner relies on creating an ambiance for you and your guests.

Cover your table with a white table cloth. At each place setting lay a spoon, knife, ceramic or wooden plate, short stem glass and a muslin napkin. In the middle of each napkin place a roll or small loaf of bread. Place spices (salt, pepper, vinegar etc.) in small bowls in the centre of the table.

Beverages like beer, ale, cider or wine should be placed in large pitchers served at room temperature or slightly cool.

When your guests arrive, pass around a bowl of warm water scented with lemons or spices and a towel for them to wipe their hands. The bowl can also be circulated between courses to keep hands free of grease. Once the guests are seated, have them open their napkins and drape the napkin over their left shoulder with the main part covering the front of the person.

Course and food selections were very different in the seventeenth century. The first course should contain chicken, soup, meat, vegetables and a sweet and a savory pudding. The second course should contain fish, meat or game pie and fruit or custard pie. A dessert course was unheard of as pies, puddings and sweet items were served along with the rest of the meal. Each dish in the course is laid out at the same time. Diners took what items they wished from the serving dishes and trays.

During the Middle Ages, every wealthy household had a person, who was trained in the art of carving meat. This was usually the job of a young squire. By the 1500's, the custom of dining in the great hall with everyone who worked for the manor, gave way to intimate dining with family and friends. As a way of showing off his skill with a knife, the master began to carve the meat himself. Having the master carve first began in Italy and then spread across Europe. The master had various picture books depicting carving at his disposal. The Italians also developed and sold wooden models of chickens, fish, game and various cuts of beef. These models could be easily disassembled, so the master could practice carving.

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If anyone decides to try out any of these recipes please feel free to tell us what you think in the guestbook. Even if it's to warn people not to make the recipe!