Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Chicken Pie

One of the things I never post about but love to do, especially at events where I have a fire pit, is cook.  Not feast cooking, but camp and hearth cooking.  It's fun and I think gives me that much more of a connection to how tings were done in the past (for example, managing period skirts while standing in a fire pit required a bit of a thinking.  I know why many women died of lung problems are horrible burns).

Working from period recipes is also a lot of fun and gives me another venue for creative outlet.  Some of them are terribly, wonderfully vague.  I think I have read and cooked enough of certain types of dishes at this point to be comfortable "going off book" and yet still producing something within a period aesthetic.   That's my ambition for any craft really but feeling like I can make something right using whatever I have on hand is a nice feeling.

We had a local event a couple of weeks ago at which my household decided to make a nice period lunch.  My contribution was a chicken pie, based on what I had (chicken, bacon and leeks) and several recipes I found at Medieval Cookery.  In true period style, I utterly failed to keep track of measurements but here is a pithy recipe for what I came up with.  It was really tasty, even cold, and rather like a quiche.

Chicken and Leek Pie, more or less 15th century 
Chicken (I used breasts as that's what I had), boned and skinned
Sharp cheddar cheese
Pie crust
Grind the meats together or chop them up very finely.  I used the meat grinder on my kitchen aid because chopping meat grosses me out.  Shred the cheese and finely cut up the leeks.  Mix all this together with a pinch of saffron and a healthy dose of ground cubebs.  Add in eggs to bind it all together and spread in your pie crust.  I used a deep dish, period pie dish for this so there was a high filling-to-crust ratio.  Bake at something close to 375 for about an hour, and serve.  Also good cold.