My recipe last night! Andalusian fried chicken in sauce PLUS a bonus curry recipe!
- I made a fried chicken in a sauce that was sorta 13th century Andalusian. ;) I'll give the actual recipe and then my redaction.
Cooked Fried Chicken
Cut up the chicken, making two pieces from each limb; fry it with plenty of fresh oil; then take a pot and throw in four spoonfuls of vinegar and two of murri naqî' and the same amount of oil, pepper, cilantro, cumin, a little garlic and saffron. Put the pot on the fire and when it has boiled, put in the fried chicken spoken of before, and when it is done, then empty it out and present it.That's it. Love those medieval recipes, hehe.
So, I got a four pound chicken and cut it up. I'm not very good at cutting up chicken, so I managed to get seven pieces. Go Hasan! Hehe.
I put about an inch of canola oil in a frying pan and fried the pieces over a medium-high heat for about three minutes a side, until they were sorta brown and crunch skinned. Canola oil isn't period; the Andalusians probably used unroasted sesame oil, which I'll probably start cooking with when they sell it in gallons at Sam's.
Then I mixed together eight tablespoons of vinegar. For murri naqi I used tamarind paste, about four tablespoons. I put in some olive oil, I'd guess about three or four tablespoons. I put in a heaping tablespoon of my six pepper powder -- made with black, white, pink and green peppercorns, Sichuan peppercorns and some, well, cayenne. So it's not technically period, darn cayenne! But I generally have the six pepper powder and unground peppercorns, so since I was being lazy I decided not to grind the pepper, myself. (Using coase ground or even cracked peppercorns would be wonderful with this.) I put in about 1 1/2 teaspoons of cumin seeds, three tablespoons of chopped cilantro (I thought about putting in ground coriander powder because the recipes often confuse the two, but I had the cilantro so what the hell; I'd probably put about 2 teaspoons of ground coriander powder if I went that way), about a tablespoon of minced garlic.
A better substitute for murri naqi would be a fish sauce or even soy sauce; I was out of both, so y'all got tamarind concentrate, hehe. Which worked pretty well and is period. (The word "tamarind" is Arabic -- tamar-al-hind -- meaning "the date of India" and dates from way back before the Muslim diaspora.) But I was worried that all the vinegar and the tamarind would make it real sour so I threw in a handful of sugar to offset that.
Then I put the chicken pieces in a pot and poured the sauce over it and simmered the whole mess for about forty-five minutes, mixing occasionally to get the pieces coated in the sauce. Near the end, I took out the chicken pieces and reduced the sauce some and mixed the chicken back in.
The rest of this letter is for Aneleda who wanted to make a spicy curry.
Chilli Meat With Curry Leaves
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely sliced
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
4 garlic cloves, crushed
12 curry leaves (you won't find these in Bangor, alas, use bay)
3 tbsp extra hot curry paste or 4 tbsp hot curry powder
1 tbsp cayenne
1 tsp five-spice powder
1 tsp tumeric
2 lbs lean lamb, beef or pork, cubed
3/4ths a cup of thick coconut milk
red onion, sliced to garnish
flat bred to serve, preferably naan
1. Heat the oil in a wok, karahi or large pan, and fry the onion, ginger, garlic and curry leaves untilt he oinon is soft (note: in Indian food, it is impossible to overfry onions unless they're burned -- ideally, the onions should be fried right up to the point where they're about to burn; this is a pain in the butt, frying them as long as you're comfortable works OK, hehe). Add the curry paste or powder, cayenne powder and five-spice powder, tumeric and salt.
2. Add the meat and stir well over a medium heat to seal and evenly brown the meat pieces. Keep stirring until the oil seperates. Cover the pain and cook for about 20 minutes.
3. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer, covered, until the meat is cooked (with beef, I keep it going for a good hour and a half, usually; less for lamb and maybe half an hour for pork). Towards the end of cooking, uncover the pain to reduce the excess liquid. Garnish and serve.
This recipe would normally be eaten with bread, and maybe a fruit raita (which would be, like, fruit in yogurt) to cool out some of the heat.
Hasan ibn-Haroun al-Quirtibah
- I got one thing to say:
Hasan cooks sexy food.
ok - two things -
gingery chicken is wonderful, especially with asparagus
ok - three things -
Omlettes for harlots and ruffians, my offering, is a dish DEFINATELY
better served lukewarm. Cold it's like, I don't know what it's like -
it's like something lemony, congealed and disgusting. Eat it warm
at all costs. I am guessing that we had (or at least the equivilent
of) two harlots and two ruffians and could have served three more of
Here's the recipe, actual recipe first, explaination of who the
writer was, and then the redaction.
* * *
How to make an orange omelette (From The Medieval Kitchen
Recipes from France and Italy; by Odile Redon, Françoise Sabban, &
Silvano Serventi; Translated by Edward Schneider)
Take eggs and break them, with oranges, as many as you like; squeeze
their juice and add to it the eggs with sugar; then take olive oil
or fat, and heat it in the pan and add the eggs. This was for
ruffians and brazen harlots.
Johannes Bockenheim (or Buckehen) was cook to Pope Martin V and in
the 1430s wrote a brief but highly original cookbook recently edited
by Bruno Laurioux (see bibliography). This German, who lived at
Rome, wrote as a professional, with telegraphic terseness and little
detail; yet he was careful to specify the destined consumer of each
recipe, pigeon-holed by social classfrom prostitutes to princesor
by nationality: Italian, French, German from any of various
provinces, and so forth.
We cannot see why this omelette, which contains no meat and no
seasoning other than sugar, should be particularly well suited to
debauchees. Surely, it is flesh (further fired by spices) that
enflames the flesh. This omelette can be safely tasted without
running the risk of moral turpitude.
Since medieval oranges were bitter, we suggest a blend of oranges
and lemons. The sugar and the acidity of the juice prevent the eggs
from completely setting, so this is more of a custardy cream that
makes an unusual and very pleasant dessert.
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice the oranges and the lemon. Beat the eggs, add the juice, the
sugar, and salt to taste, and cook the omelette in olive oil. Serve
* * *
I used two lemons and probably too much sugar to make up for it, and
didn't use any salt at all. It was tasty, but when it says "Serve
warm" they aren't kidding.