Tag Archives: Libre del Coch

Libre del Coch — Amored Hen

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Libre del Coch was published in 1520 in Barcelona. It was written in Catalan – a language related to, but distinct from, Spanish, written by Ruperto de Nola.
Armored Hen [GALLINA ARMADA]

Roast a good hen. And when it is nearly half-roasted, baste it with bacon. Then take well-beaten egg yolks, then with a spoon or with the tip of a large wooden spoon rub the hen with these yolks, little by little. And then sprinkle wheat flour well-sifted with ground salt over the eggs, turning the hen constantly and swiftly; and the crust is worth more than the hen.

My Thought process:

I’m doing these redactions/recipes for a large cooking event, however, I have no space to actually cook full chickens. There is absolutely nothing wrong with switching this up if you have the equipment and space for full hens. I created this so it was easy and faster to cook, as well as prepare.

I also added a few more spices than the original for better flavor. If you want to stick with just salt and the yoke, then by all means, do that. * means optional.

Recipe:

8 Chicken Legs (about a pound)
8 strips of bacon
¼ cup flour
1 tbs Thyme*
1 tbs Sage*
1 tbs Onion Powder*
1 tbs Garlic Powder*
½ tbs Salt
½ tbs Pepper*
1 egg yolk

Preheat oven for 450 degrees. Take tin foil strips and crunch them up into long tin foil ropes, lining your cook pan with them. This method lifts the chicken on crunched up tin foil to allow it to not cook in fat and crisp skin (if you have another way to lift the legs, feel free to do that).

Put all dry ingrediants together either in a plastic resealable bag or in a bowl. Dredge chicken legs in egg yoke and then coat with the flour mixture. Place chicken on top of coiled tin foil pan and cover each piece of chicken with a strip of bacon.

Roast. Cook at 450 degrees until fully cooked and skin gets crispy.

Libre del Coch — Chopped Spinach

Libre del Coch was published in 1520 in Barcelona. It was written in Catalan – a language related to, but distinct from, Spanish, written by Ruperto de Nola.

Chopped Spinach [ESPINACAS PICADAS]
You must take spinach and clean it, and wash it very well, and give it a brief boil with water and salt; then press it very well between two chopping-blocks, then chop it very small. And then gently fry it in bacon fat; and when it is gently fried, put it in a pot on the fire, and cook it; and cast in the pot: good broth of mutton, and of bacon which is very fatty and good, only the flower (63) of the pot; and if by chance you wish it, in place of the broth, cast upon it milk of goats or sheep, and if not, of almonds; and take the bacon, and cut it into pieces the size of fingers, and cast them in the pot with the spinach; and depending on what the season it is, if you wish, cast in fresh cheese; you may do it likewise, like the abovementioned slices of bacon; and if you put in a great deal, do not put it in until the spinach is entirely cooked, and cast this in a little before dishing it out; and if you wish also to cast in tender raisins which are cooked, you can do it all around the spinach; and if you do not wish to put in these things, neither bacon nor grated cheese of Aragon, cast parsley and mint with it likewise; and the spinach will be better.
Recipe:
6 oz of Spinach, cleaned
4 tsp bacon fat
4 strips of Bacon, rendered and chopped
1/4 Cup Almond Milk
6 oz Queso Blanco cheese
Salt

Blanch spinach in boiling, salted water. Drain spinach as much as possible then chop finely. Add spinach to a hot pan with bacon fat and bacon to sauté. Cook until everything is warmed through. Place in casserole. Mix in almond milk and cheese. Make sure you sprinkle cheese on the top. Bake in oven, 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

[Comments: Originally I used ½ Almond milk, but the mixture was fairly watery. Cutting down liquid in next try. Maybe grind up spinach before sauté?]

Libre del Coch — Leek Pottage

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Libre del Coch was published in 1520 in Barcelona. It was written in Catalan – a language related to, but distinct from, Spanish, written by Ruperto de Nola.

LEEK POTTAGE [POTAJE DE PORRADA]
You must take leeks, well-peeled, and washed and cleaned the night before, set them to soak in an earthen bowl filled with water, in the night air; and let them be this way all night until the morning; and then give them a boil, moderately, because they are very difficult to cook; and when they are well-boiled, press them a great deal between two chopping blocks, and gently fry them with the fat of good bacon; and do not cast salt upon them; and when they are well gently fried, set them to cook in a little good broth which is fatty; and then take almond milk and cast it in the pot and cook it until it is quite thick; and when it is thick, taste it for salt, and if it lacks salt cast it in; and then prepare dishes, and [cast] upon them sugar and cinnamon.

Recipe:
3 Large Leeks, washed and chopped
32oz Chicken Broth (no salt)
4 tsp Bacon fat
4 strips Bacon, cooked, rendered and chopped small
3 Cups Almond Milk (possibly creamier with 4 cups)
Salt to taste

Take leeks and boil until tender. Drain. Press to squeeze out as much water as possible. In a hot pan, add bacon fat and leeks. Brown leeks until they are camel zed. Add cooked bacon and mix with leeks. Add stock and almond milk, bring to a quick boil, then lower temperature to a simmer. Simmer at least 30 minutes.

I ended up taking the soup and putting into a blender to liquefy all ingredients. Add salt to taste. You can serve without blending, but the blending makes a very smooth, creamy, soup.

The food in Spain in the 16th Century…

Perhaps one of the most interesting cuisines within history, Spain has many recipes that took advantage of their fresh local resources of the time. Ruperto de Nola’s “Book of Cooking” or “libro de cozina” was published in 1520 in Barcelona. It was written in Catalan – a language related to, but distinct from, Spanish. It was called “Libre del Coch.”

Full English translations of this book is here:

Part I
Part II