Convivencia, February 21, 2004

Jewish Dish of Chicken with Stuffing

Anonymous Andalusian manuscript, trans. by Charles Perry

Clean the chicken [p. 20, recto] and pound its entrails with almonds, breadcrumbs, a little flour, salt, and cut-up fennel and cilantro. Beat it with six eggs and the amount of a quarter ratl of water. Then expose the chicken over the fire a little and place it in a clean pot with five spoonfuls of fresh oil, and do not stop turning it on the fire in the oil until it is well browned. Then cover the contents of the pot with stuffing prepared earlier and leave it until it is bound together and wrinkled. Ladle it out and put the stuffing around it, garnish with cut rue and fennel, eyes of mint, and toasted almonds, and present it, God willing.

  1. Kosher the livers by searing them over a flame or in a pan
  2. Remove the mint (and fennel) from the stems
  3. Remove the cilantro leaves from the stems; chop the leaves
  4. Remove skin and fat from chicken.
  5. Sautee the chicken thighs in the oil until browned on the outside.
  6. Mash up livers/gizzards and combine with cilantro, almonds, bread crumbs, flour, salt, eggs and water to form a paste
  7. Place chicken in roasting pans in a single layer
  8. Cover chicken with stuffing mixture and bake at 325-350 1-2 hours?
  9. To serve, put the chicken in the middle of the plate with the stuffing around it, garnish with mint, toasted almonds, etc.

Fresh fennel is omitted from this dish because it's difficult to get, and many people have a strong negative reaction to it. After conversation with the SCA-Cooks list and with Sarah bas Mordechai who was raised Orthodox Jewish, we decided that only the liver and the gizzards would have been used of the innards.

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