A Boke of Gode Cookery Presents


PERIOD: England, 15th century | SOURCE: MS Douce 257 | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: Chicken in Aspic


Tak hoggys fet other pyggys, other erys, other pertricys othere chiconys, & do hem togedere & seth hem in a pot; & do in hem flowre of canel and clowys hole or grounde. Do thereto vineger, & do the broth in a clene vessel of al thys, & tak the flesch and kerf yt in smale morselys & do yt therein. Tak powder of galyngale & cast aboue & lat yt kele. Tak bronchys of the lorere tre & styk ouer it, & kep yt al so longe as thou wilt & serue yt forth.

- 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.


  • 1 three- to four-pound chicken, cut into pieces
  • 3 C water
  • 1/4 wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp galingale or powdered ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 - 10 whole cloves
  • Salt to taste
  • Laurel or other green leaves for decoration
1. In a pot, bring the water to a boil, and add cut-up chicken, vinegar and spices. Reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for twenty to thirty minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

2. Remove chicken, and allow to cool. Remove the meat from the bones, dice it small, and put it in a mold or bowl.

3. Return the bones and skin to the pot, return to the boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for about an hour, until the stock is reduced by half.

4. Remove the bones, and strain the stock into a bowl. Allow to settle, and skim off the fat. Pour the stock into the mold or bowl, just covering the chicken. Refrigerate until firm. Turn out onto a plate for serving, garnishing it with laurel leaves or other greenery.

Serves four to six.

Notes on the Recipe:

I have chosen to use chicken instead of partridge or pig's feet or ears. I also boil the bones by themselves, after the meat is removed, in order to make a good jelly without over-cooking the meat. I substitute powdered ginger for galingale and add salt to taste.

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