Apicius 247


Pullus Vardanus

Pullum coques iure hoc: liquamineº, oleo, uino, <cui mittis> fasciculum porri, coriandri, satureiae. Cum coctus fuerit, teres piper, nucleos cyathos duos et ius de suo sibi suffundis et fasciculos proicies. Lac temperas, et reexinanies [in] mortarium supra pullum, ut ferueat. Obligas eundem albamentis ouorum tritis, ponis in lance et iure supra scripto perfundis. Hoc ius candidum appellatur.



Chicken Vardanus

Cook the chicken in the following sauce: garumº, oil, wine, togheter with a bundle of leeks, coriander and savory. When done, grind pepper with two cups of pine-kernels, add some of the stock and remove the bundle of herbs. Dilute with milk. Add the contents of the mortar to the chicken and make it simmer. Thicken the sauce with ground egg-whites, serve on a platter and pour the sauce over it. This is called a white sauce.




For this recipe we need a plump chicken, preferably from an organic farm and a pan that will hold it. Next apicius' bundle of herbs: a smallish leek and a handfull of fresh coriander wil pose no problems, the savory might. The variety that traditionally accompanies broad beans (at least with us in the Netherlands) is not what is meant here. Instead of Satureia hortensis we need some Satureia montana, which is sometimes sold as a garden plant, but ccan be held in a pot on our balcony if you like.
As for wine, I used a white one here, and a rather mild one at that, just to keep the sauce from becoming too sour. We cook the chicken in the wine, togheter with the bundle of herbs. When nearly done, we grind in a mortar 3 oz. of pine-kernels with a it of pepper. Add some milk.
In a bowl we beat three egg-wites untill stiff. Apicius probably meant the whites of hard-boiled eggs, but I doubt wheter they have the thickening prperties needed for this recipe.
We then take the chicken from the pan and keep it warm. The stock is sieved and boiled down to slightly less than half. With a few table-spoons of this we stir the ground pine-kernels into a thickish sauce and add this to the restof the stock. While letting it simmer gently, we see how it startsto thicken because of the pine-kernels.
Just before serving we take the sauce from the fire and mix in the beaten egg-whites. Mind that the sauce shouldn't be too hot, or else the egg-whites will cause it to curdle instead of becoming smooth.
Finally place the chicken on a platter and pour the white sauce over it. A sprig of fresh coriander on top will prove a lovely decoration when serving it.

When I first tried this recipe, I conveniently boned and cut up the chicken before serving. The result was a kind of ragoût, mildly sour with a distinct aroma of fresh coriander.