[Sca-cooks] Apple Pillows, Chicken Buns, Oil Choices, oh my.

Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Sat Jun 14 11:30:52 PDT 2008

> We're off to Boars hunt and I'm prepping lunch for us to take with.
> Tonights  dishes were Apple Pillows and Chicken Buns from  Sabina
> Welserin and Dyuerse Bake Metis from Harleian MS 279.
> Here is what I did.
> For Chicken Buns
> http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/Cookbooks/Sabrina_Welserin.html
> (#97)
> I took some leftover chicken drumsticks and pulled the chicken off.
> Chopped it thin.  I  toasted some bread and grated it, then added it
> to the chicken, and also added eggs until it resembled  almost a soft
> meatloaf.
> In the instructions it states to " let them fry very slowly and roast
> them" So I turned the oven to 300,  heated some oil/butter ** in my
> cast iron pan, planted small "meatballs"  in the pan, then baked util
> they were cooked through, turning once as they got a delightful golden
> color on the bottom .
> They've been pronounced good. I thought they needed salt, and added
> some to the second batch. (the cooked chicken was seasoned and I'm
> afraid of oversalting.

The original recipe (from the Hugo Stopp transcription IIRC) reads:

Wiltú hennenkiechlen bachenn/

So nim das hennenflesch vnnd lasß vor sieden, darnach hacks klain vnnd thú 
ain geriben semel daran vnnd air daran, bis dú mainst/
das es ain feins dicks taiglin seý, darnach mach feine rúnde kigellen/ vnnd 
lasß bachen gar lancksam vnnd saltzs.

I would translate the cooking instructions as "and let (them) fry(or bake) 
slowly (until) well done and salt."  So your thought that they needed salt 
is probably correct.

"Bachen" can be translated as fry or bake and in this instance, I would 
probably fry these in oil in a skillet.

> ** So the oil thing. I was at a loss of what to use to "fry/roast "
> them in. Should it have been a dry fry? I fried in about 1/4 inch of
> liquid. I went with butter for the flavor, and canloa oil for the
> ability to take the heat.  So now, I'm wondering how do i get to a
> closer choice  as to the appropriate oil. Trade documents to see what
> was imported? Household records?

With the Welsers, you are dealing with one of the richest families in 
Europe, so olive oil would be a good choice.  The banking families of 
Augsburg, the Fuggers, Welsers and Hochstetters, had extensive trade and 
financial dealings all over Europe, which means they had ready access to 
quality imported foodstuffs and didn't have to be too sparing in their use.

As I recall, there are recipes in the collection that call for "schmalz," or 
"fat," which will be either chicken fat or lard, so those might also do. 
Rape oil (cannola) is also a possibility, but I favor olive oil unless 
otherwise stated.

> The Apple pillows were simple. Apple, cut in quarters dipped in batter
> of  1/2 c flour (freshly milled wheat) 1/2 water, 2 eggs.  Then
> dropped into oil to fry slowly till cooked. These were good, but I'll
> admit that the lack of sugar surprised me, and my family appreciated
> them more when i  "accidentally" tapped a little powdered sugar  over
> the batch. Its clear that as a fried item these will not work for our
> lunch tomorrow. I'll have to go with apple tarts instead.

Rather than thinking of this as a dessert, try it as a side dish.  If you 
experiment with the recipe again, try it with the sweetest, juiciest apples 
you can find (shouldn't be too hard in Washington State).

> Lastly, with the Dyuerse Bake Metis, I used ground pork and decided
> that with the leanness of todays pork I'd add extra fat. I realize now
> that bacon was a bad choice because of the smoke flavor. Would lard
> work?  Or am i  nuts to add extra fat ?
> -- 
> Ursel Stegerin

If you decide you need extra fat in the dish, use a little fresh belly fat 
or some salt pork would be my recommendation.  These sometimes turn up in 
grocery meat counters in 12 ounce packages.



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