A Boke of Gode Cookery Presents

Goce or Capon Farced

PERIOD: England, 15th century | SOURCE: Harleian MS. 4016 | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: Goose or capon stuffed with eggs, onions, & grapes


Goce or Capon farced. Take parcill, Swynes grece, or suet of shepe, and parboyle hem in faire water and fresssh boyling broth; And þen take yolkes of eyeron hard y-sodde, and hew hem smale, with the herbes and the salte; and cast therto pouder of Ginger, Peper, Canell, and salte, and Grapes in tyme of yere; And in oþer tyme, take oynons, and boile hem; and whan they ben yboiled ynowe with þe herbes and with þe suet, al þes togidre, þen put all in þe goos, or in þe Capon; And then late him roste ynogh.

- Austin, Thomas. Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books. Harleian MS. 279 & Harl. MS. 4016, with extracts from Ashmole MS. 1429, Laud MS. 553, & Douce MS 55. London: for The Early English Text Society by N. Trübner & Co., 1888.


Goose or capon stuffed. Take parsley, swine's grease, or suet of sheep, and parboil them in water and fresh broth; And then take hard-boiled egg yolks, and cut them small, with the herbs and the salt; and add powder of ginger, pepper, cinnamon, and salt, and grapes in time of year; And in other times, take onions, and boil them; and when they have boiled enough with the herbs and with the suet, all these together, then put all in the goose, or in the capon; And then let it roast enough.


  • 1 goose or capon
  • 2 dozen hard boiled egg yolks, chopped
  • 2 lbs. seedless grapes
  • 4 bunches fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3-4 large onions, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. each ginger, pepper, cinnamon, & salt
  • 1/4 lb. (1 stick) butter
Sauté the onions and parsley together in the butter until the onion softens. Mix together the grapes, egg yolks, and spices; add the butter, onions, & parsley. Mix well. Stuff the goose or capon with this mixture and place in a roasting pan. Rub a little oil into the skin, sprinkle with salt & pepper, then roast at 400° F for 2-3 hours for the goose or for 1-2 hours for the capon, until the bird is tender and has turned a deep golden brown.

As you will have noticed, I have varied from the original recipe by not parboiling all the ingredients together, but instead have sautéed the onion & parsley and then mixed with the other items. My reason for this is personal: I have made the boiled version before, and simply do not like it! Feel free to boil the stuffing as described, but be assured that the modern recipe works just as well (if not better), and uses the same cooking procedure indicated in other, similar medieval stuffing recipes.

I've included both the onions & the grapes in the modern recipe, but using either one by itself is perfectly fine.

Metric, Celsius, & Gas Mark Equivalencies

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Goce or Capon Farced © 2000 James L. Matterer

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