Lombard chicken pasties

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient

Chickens be set in a pasty on their backs with the breast upward and large slices of bacon on the breast, and then covered. Item in the Lombard manner, when the chickens be plucked and prepared, take beaten eggs (to wit yolks and whites) with verjuice and spice powder and dip your chickens therein; then set them in the pasty with strips of bacon as above.

350 g/12 oz shortcrust or puff pastry 2 eggs, beaten 2 tablespoons verjuice* or lemon juice ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ½ teaspoon ground ginger 450 g/1 lb chicken or turkey breast meat, in small thin slices 3 large rashers streaky or back bacon, trimmed of fat and cut in half

*Verjuice--a popular medieval condiment made from specially grown or (in England) unripe grapes. If you can get Seville oranges in season and freeze them, use their juice as a substitute for verjuice.

No doubt the franklin in Chaucher's group who kept such a grandiose table would have served a splendid double-sized, two-crust pie at home; but small ones are better for eating on the road. In either case, he would surely have told his cooks to bone the birds. Hunting for meat (or fish) bones under a pastry crust is frustrating.

Roll out the pastry and cut it into six large circles each 16 cm/6½ inches across. 'Rest' it while making the filling. Pre-heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas Mark 7.

Mix the beaten egg with the verjuice or lemon juice, pepper and ginger. Dip the slices of poultry meat in the mixture, then divide them between the pastry circles, placing them on one side of the round, but not right up to the edge. Lay a piece of bacon on each pile. Brush the edge of the pastry with any remaining egg mixture; if necessary, use a third egg. Fold the bare half of each pastry round over the meat and match the two pastry edges. Pinch the edges together, fluting them, or press with a fork. Prick the pastry in several places.

Bake the pasties on a baking sheet for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5 and cook for another 20-25 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

from The Medieval Cookbook by Maggie Black Chapter 2, "Chaucer's Company" posted by Tiffany Hall-Graham From: Carl.Berger@...

Date: 06-04-94 Submitted By DALE SHIPP On 04-20-95

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