Le Viandier de Taillevent - Translation - Gilded Dishes


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Subtleties for a feast day, or for a prince's banquet on three meat days of the week such as Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday.

178. [Gilded chickens with quenelles.]

After the chicken is killed, break a bit of skin on the head, take a feather tube, blow in until it is very full of air, scald it, slit it along the belly, skin it, and put the carcass aside.

For the stuffing and the quenelles have some raw pork meat (it doesn't matter what kind) chopped with pork fat, white [chicken meat], eggs, good Fine Powder, pine nut paste and currants. Stuff the chicken skins with it (but do not fill them so much that they burst), restitch them, and boil them in a pan on the fire (but do not let them cook for very long). When the quenelles are well made, put them to cook with the chickens, and remove them when they are hardened. Spit the chickens on slender spits. Have the spits for the quenelles slenderer by half or more than those for the chickens.

Afterwards, you need to have some batter beaten from eggs until it can stand up in the pan. When the chickens and quenelles are nearly cooked, remove them and put them over your batter. Take some batter with a clean spoon, stirring always, put it on top of your chickens and quenelles, [and put them over the fire] until they are glazed. Do them 2 or 3 times until they are well covered. Take some gold or silver leaf and wrap them (first sprinkle them with a little egg white so that the leaf adheres better).

179. Helmeted cocks.

Roast pigs, and poultry such as cocks and old hens. When the pig is roasted on one hand, and the chicken on the other, stuff the chicken (without skinning it, if you wish), and [glaze] it with beaten egg batter. When it is glazed, set it riding on the pig with a helm of glued paper, and with a lance fixed at the breast of the chicken. Cover them with gold or silver leaf for the lords, or with white, red or green tin leaf [for the others].




180. Parma tarts.

Take mutton, veal or pork meat, cook it, chop it appropriately, spice it extremely reasonably with Fine Powder, and fry it in lard. Afterwards, have large uncovered pies the size of little platters, with pastry sides higher than for other pies, and made in the manner of crenellations. The pastry should be strong so that it can hold the meat. If you wish, mix some pine nut paste and currants with the meat, and crumble some sugar on top. Take some boiled and quartered chicken, and in each pie put 3 or 4 chicken quarters in which to fix the banners of France and of the lords who will be in the [royal] presence. Gild them with sprinkled saffron to be more attractive.

If you do not wish to depend so much on chicken, you need only make some flat pieces of roasted or boiled pork or mutton. When the pies are full of their meat, glaze the top of the meat with a little egg yolk and egg white beaten together, so that the meat will hold together more firmly for inserting the banners. Have some gold, silver, or tin leaf for gilding the pies in front of the banners.

181. Golden toasts.

To make golden toasts, take some hard white bread, slice it into square toasts, roast them a bit on the grill, coat them very well in beaten egg yolks, brown them in good hot lard on the fire until fine and very golden, remove them from the pan, and put them on plates with some sugar on top.





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