Welcome to another HovelTV Saturday Medieval Kitchen! This week’s dish is: Chicken and Beef Stew.
This is a really simple dish with a delicate flavour. Suitable for reenactments from most eras, the ingredients would have been available for middle class upwards!
You will need:
1 Free Range Chicken, fully prepped and ready for the oven
500g Beef shin (chopped and ready for the pot)
2 Large onions
1tbsp ginger (fresh preferably, but ground will do)
1 pinch Saffron
1 pinch salt & pepper
Enough water to cover*
Crusty bread rolls to serve
– Prep your meat – chop if needs be, remove string & giblets from your bird if required.
– Chuck all ingredients into the pot and pop onto the stove (or campfire!) for a good few hours until cooked.
– Serve with crusty bead rolls for dipping!
*This stew was nice… but it really needed some stock rather than water to give it a bit more flavour!
It’s interesting to note that chickens from the medieval era would have looked quite different from the chickens we have today. Anyone who raises their own backyard chickens will be used to the most common breeds in the UK. Niki’s Bovans Browns are the most common laying chicken, a cross between the Light Sussex and Rhode Island Red.
We are taught that the Light Sussex, being a ‘dual purpose bird’ (good at laying and good for eating) is probably the closes we have to a true medieval breed. This article, however, from The Medievalists website, seems to suggest that that idea might not be true.The actual DNA of our livestock chickens, as well as domestic dogs, pigs, sheep, cattle, etc, has changed drastically in the last 600 years and is almost unrecognisable today.
Another fun facts about chickens is how many times they appear in illustrations and art from the day! Chickens were popular from simple cottages right up to large castles and manors, so it;s not surprise that they pop up in art quite often. The strangest ones are the angry chickens! This board on Pinterest (not ours by the way)! has some great chicken medieval art!
Want to see some more hilarious medieval marginalia? Buzzfeed has you covered with this gem of a post!
Check out our video on this: COMING SOON!