Convivencia, February 21, 2004

Barley Grits in Chicken Broth

De Nola

You will take farro and wash it with cold water two or three times; and when you have washed it well, put it in the pot where it must cook and cast in good hen's broth with the farro all together and cook it on the fire; when it is more than half cooked, you will take good almond milk and cast it in the pot; and then you will put good sugar in the pot while the pot cooks; and when it is well-cooked, take it away from the fire wrapped in a cloth. And when it has rested well, prepare dishes and cast sugar and cinnamon on them.
And likewise if you wish to make sauce you can make it just the same. And if perhaps you wish to make a dish of cracked barley which will be delicate, make it in this manner: take the farro and cook it in good hen's broth, or mutton broth, and when it is more than half cooked, strain it through a woolen cloth; and the strained liquor that comes out must finish cooking with the almond milk; and cook it until it is thickened and then cast sugar upon the dishes; and this dish is good for invalids because it is very delicate.
You must take semola and wash it with two or three waters until it is quite clean; and pass the semola between two dishes, passing it from one dish to the other; and this is done in case it contains any dirt; and when this is done put it in the pot and cook it with your broth, stirring it constantly with a stick until it is cooked, and then grind blanched peeled almonds and blend them with good hen's broth and strain it through a woolen cloth, and then cast in it the pot with the semola, and stir it constantly and vigorously until it is cooked; and then put ground sugar in the pot and stir it no more than two or three turns; and prepare dishes and cast fine sugar upon them.
But note one thing: when you wish to prepare semola or farro or similar foods, with hen's broth, the broth must be good and quite fatty; and in this manner it will not be necessary to cast in almond milk, but rather cook it with the broth alone; nor is sugar necessary in the pot, nor upon the dishes if you do not wish to cast it on, it is not necessary; and if you wish it to be yellow, let the broth in which you cast it to cook be blended with ground saffron, and set it to cook and to become a very elegant yellow color.
Each time that you blend any kind of saffron with whatsoever type of broth, see that the broth is well-salted; and in this manner you will always make good stews and pottages.

  1. Make up broth from chicken base.
  2. In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, combine broth and groats; cover.
  3. Heat mixture to boiling.
  4. Turn down heat to low and cook slowly until fully cooked and thick.


From the files of Jadwiga Zajaczkowa (Jenne Heise), 2004