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Chicken Pasty

Recipe by Daniel Myers

This is a rather simple recipe, but breaking the pastry shell at the table has a certain dramatic flair. I added the saffron to the dough for color (as well as smell and flavor) as was often done in period.


1 cup flour
1/8 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt
1 pinch saffron
1 game hen
several fresh sage leaves
1 strip bacon, diced
dash salt


Grind saffron, place in water, and allow color to diffuse. Mix the salt and flour together, and then add water a little at a time, mixing with a fork, until it forms a pliable dough. Use additional water as needed. Roll out dough and place game hen in the middle. Cover with sage and bacon pieces. Add a little salt and the fold dough over chicken, sealing with water where the dough overlaps. Bake at 350°F for one hour.

Recipe XXX. Quomodo condiatur pullus in pastello. Man skal et unct høns i tu skæræ oc swepæ thær um helæ salviæ blath, oc skær i spæk oc salt, oc hyli thæt hø mæth degh; oc latæ bakæ i en hogn swa sum brøth. Swa mughæ man gøræ allæ handæ fiskæ pastel, oc fughlæ oc annæt køt.

Recipe XXX. How to prepare a chicken pasty. One should cut a young chicken in two and cover it with whole leaves of sage, and add diced bacon and salt. And wrap this chicken with dough and bake it in an oven like bread. In the same way one can make all kinds of pasties: of fish, of fowl, and of other meats.

Chicks may be placed in pastry, back down and breast up, and broad slices of bacon on the breast; and then cover.

Item, in the Lombardy fashion, when the chicks are plucked and prepared, have beaten eggs, both yolks and whites, with verjuice and powdered spices, and moisten your chicks in it: then put in pastry with slices of bacon as above.

Published: 2003-03-20