How To Make Your Cooked Chicken Sing


 

The Vivendier is a previously unpublished cookbook of more than sixty recipes, medical, botanical, household, and personal advice from the 15th century north-eastern France. While many advice is practical, there are some really unusual finds in the manuscript. One such segment is on how to make your cooked chicken sing as part of your dish presentation.

To make that Chicken Sing when it is dead and roasted, whether on the spit or in the platter. Take the neck of your chicken and bind it at one end and fill it with quicksilver and ground sulphur, filling until it is roughly half full; then bind the other end, but not too tightly. When you want it to sing, [heat] your neck or chicken. When it is quite hot, and when the mixture heats up, the air that is trying to escape will make the chicken’s sound. The same can be done with a gosling, with a piglet and with any other birds. And if it doesn’t cry loudly enough, tie the two ends more tightly.

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