"To boil the chicknes with the marybones" - Prologue to The Canterbury Tales

.Cxliiij. Schyconys with the bruesse. Take halfe a dosyn Chykonys, & putte hem in-to a potte; then putte ther-to a gode gobet of freysshe Beef, & lat hem boyle wyl; putte ther-to Percely, Sawge leuys, Saurey, noyt to smal hakkyd; putte ther-to Safroun y-now; then kytte thin Brewes, & skalde hem with the same brothe; Salt it wyl.

- Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books

The use of marrow, or "mary" was common in Medieval cooking; people enjoyed the rich taste the marrow imparted, and cooks prized its thickening abilities. Cracked bones full of marrow were often cooked with other meats, as in this recipe calling for chicken. Chaucer's cook is proficient at this dish, and it is easy to imagine him serving it to his employers, the wealthy Guildsmen, while on their merry pilgrimage.

Cover chicken & beef with water in a large pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, stir in spices, and allow to slowly cook until the chicken is tender. Place the bread pieces on serving platter; pour a little of the broth over the bread, then place chicken pieces on top.

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© James L. Matterer

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Book II. A Chaucerian Feast Part 1 | Part 2

Book I. A Chaucerian Cookery Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3