[Sca-cooks] menu planning for dietary restrictions

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius.magister at verizon.net
Sun Aug 13 09:58:43 PDT 2006

On Aug 13, 2006, at 12:18 PM, grizly wrote:

> -----Original Message-----
>>>>> It reminded me of a Medieval Chicken Parmesan, sort of, with  
>>>>> the red
> wine replacing the tomato base completely.
> I can only assume it was period, as the chef doesn't seem to go for
> non-period dishes, from what I've observed.  SNIP < < < <
> There is what could be described as a relative (to the vast numbers of
> recipes available) dearth/scarcity of breaded, deep fried dishes in  
> the
> mainstream medieval corpus.  Meaning the texts most commonly used and
> discussed among the scholarly types in SCA cookery.  There may be  
> some here
> and there, but the construction you described to me would suggest  
> two things
> for me to determine its likelihood of being a recreation of an extant
> recipe:  1) I need to ask the guy where it came from ad 2) I need  
> to read
> the original to find out what the text actually says.  Any  
> assumption of
> accurate historical recipe recreation could very easily be  
> misplaced; though
> this could be one of the unusual ones that are scattered out there in
> prmiary cookery texts.

I haven't gone poring over the texts at my disposal with a magnifying  
glass, but I don't recall a single instance in the medieval corpus of  
breadcrumbs being used in that way. The most common references I've  
seen to any coating of anything before frying have involved beaten  
egg wash/glaze, sheets of dough wrapped around a filling, and the  
occasional admonition that such-and-such is eaten fried without a  
coating of flour, which suggests it was probably done on occasion.  
There may be exceptions to this, but I can't think of any off the top  
of my head.

Even if we think of fritters (which are, in the common medieval  
usage, generally made with a sticky, semi-liquid dough/batter,  
leavened with yeast), the dough seems most often to be the main  
substance of the dish, even if it's the substrate for another  
ingredient. You do start to run across apple or parsnip fritters that  
are more recognizable in the modern sense in the 16th and 17th  
centuries, but we're still probably not talking about big ol' hunks  
of chicken.

I agree with the idea that this may be inspired by the modern variant  
of Chicken Parmigiana, but rather than come up with reasons why it  
may not be period (since we're not, in fact, pursuing research with a  
known result in mind), the simplest thing may be to ask the cook for  
a source.


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