Chicken in the French Fashion

Chicken in the French Fashion,
Robert Bay, 1665

To boil Capons, Chickens, Pigeons, or any Land Fowls in the French Fashion (Chicken in the French Fashion)
16th-17th Century, England/France

Either the skin stuffed with minced meat, or boned, & fill the vents
and body; or not boned and trust to boil, fill the bodies with any
of the farsings following made of any minced meat, and seasoned with
pepper, cloves, mace, and salt; then mince some sweet herbs with
bacon and fowl, veal, mutton, or lamb, and mix with it three or four
eggs, mingle all together with grapes, gooseberries, barberries, or
red currans, and sugar, or none, some pine-apple-seed, or pistaches;
fill the fowl, and stew it in a stewing-pan with some strong broth,
as much as will cover them, and a little white wine; being stewed,
serve them in a dish with sippets finely carved, and slic't oranges,
lemons, barberries, gooseberries, sweet herbs chopped, and mace.

[The Accomplisht Cook, Robert May, 1665]


Take a Whole or Boned Fowl. Either stuff the skin or stuff the body with minced meat or take the boned chicken along with the minced meat and boil it. To make the minced meat seasoning, take Pepper, Cloves, Mace, and Salt. Combine Sweet Herbs with Bacon and Fowl, Veal, Mutton, or Lamb and mix it with three or four eggs and combine it with Grapes, Gooseberries, Barberries, or Red Currants and Sugar, or none, some Pine Nuts, or Pistachios. Fill the Whole Fowl with the Minced Meat or combine the Boned Fowl with the Minced Meat in a pot, cover with a Strong Broth and a little White Wine and stew it. Serve with Sippets, Sliced Oranges, Lemons, Barberries, Gooseberries, Chopped Sweet Herbs, and Mace.

Minced Meat ready to be
stuffed into the Chicken

1 Whole Fryer (Chicken)
½ lb Ground Beef
¼ lb Ground Lamb
Ground Mutton
Ground Veal
Ground Fowl
3 slices Bacon (Diced)
4 tbsp Sweet Herbs (Basil, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Saffron, Turmeric)
1 tsp Pepper
1/8 tsp Cloves
¼ tsp Mace
1 tsp Salt
3 eggs (Beaten)
1 small bunch Grapes (Cut into quarters, about ¼ cup)
¼ cup Red Currants
¼ Cup Pine Nuts

1 quart Chicken Broth (Approx. w/ Wine enough to cover Chicken in pot)
1 cup White Wine (Approx. w/ Broth enough to cover Chicken in pot)

Sippets (Toasted Bread)
Oranges (Sliced)
Lemons (Sliced)
Barberries (Red Currants)
Chopped Sweet Herbs


Combine the Ground Meat with Diced Bacon, Basil, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Turmeric, Pepper, Cloves, Mace, Salt, Eggs, Grapes, Currants, and Pine Nuts. Mix ingredients well. Stuff the Minced Meat into the body of the Chicken and close over the opening. Place Chicken in a pot and cover with Broth and Wine. Stew until done. Serve with Sippets, Oranges, Currants, and Herbs.
Chicken stuffed with Minced Meat
ready to be put into the pot


I came across Chicken in the French Fashion on the website for Plimoth Plantation. They posted the recipe from Good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kichin (1594). I looked up other variations of the recipe and found Robert Bay's variation from The Accomplisht Cook (1665). This is the variation that I decided to work from. The Madrone Culinary Guild has this recipe in Dining on the Edge Vol.1 from their Feudal Gourmet series. After I translated and redacted the recipe, I compared my ingredient list with theirs and used their amounts as a baseline for the Minced Meat. I was originally going to stuff the Chicken with Ground Beef and Ground Lamb, but the butcher did not have any Ground lamb in stock. I decided to use just the Ground Beef. I was unable to locate Gooseberries or Barberries locally, but Currants are a good substitution for both, so I upped the amount of Currants. I originally planned to use three eggs, but my wife left me with only two eggs after breakfast this morning. Two it is! In stuffing the Chicken, I found I had more Minced Meat than could fit in the body. I went ahead and stuffed the rest under the skin. I decided to use a Crockpot instead of a pot on the stove. I placed the Chicken in the Crockpot and found that one quart of Chicken Broth and one cup of White Wine would not cover the Chicken. I added one more cup of White Wine and a little bit of water to fully cover the Chicken. I found that the chicken did not cook quickly enough in the Crockpot. After two hours, I moved the chicken to a pot on the stove to finish cooking.

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