Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Recipes from the Wagstaff Miscellany - 164 Capon Stewed

Recipes from the Wagstaff Miscellany (Beinecke MS 163)

This manuscript is dated about 1460.

The 200 (approx.) recipes in the Wagstaff miscellany are on pages 56r through 76v.

Images of the original manuscript are freely available on the Yale University Library website.

I have done my best to provide an accurate, but readable transcription. Common abbreviations have been expanded, the letters thorn and yogh have been replaced with their modern equivalents, and some minor punctuation has been added.

Copyright © 2015 by Daniel Myers,


164. Capon Stewed
Take percellye sauge ysope rosemary & tyme & breke hit a lytyll bytwyne thy hondys & stop thy capons ther with safron & couch hem in an yryn potte yf thu have or els in a brase potte & ley splynters coundyr neth & all a boutes by the sydes so that the capons touch nevyr the bottom othir the sydys of the pot & strew of the same erbys in the pott a monge the herbys be forsaydd & the capons put a quantite & a pynt of the best vyne that thu may gete ther to & no nothir lycour & whelme a sylver dysch a bovyn that the breze be with yn the pott brede or els take a lede that ys made ther for & make a bature of the white of eyron & floure & poure a bovyn the brerdys of the ledd & stop yn with lyn cloth or papyr a mongge the bature by twyne the sydd & the pott so that the broth go not out loke hit be thik of bature & set the pott on charcole fyre to the myddys of the pott and ley a quelyne on the ledd so that hit ryse not with the hete & lete hit stew esyly & longe when thy trouyst hit ys ynowghe take hit fro the fyre yf ys a pott of erth set hit on a wipis of stre that hit touch nott the grownd for brekyng of the pott & when the hete ys well [f.74v] ovir passyd take out the capons with a pike & ley hem in a nothir vessell till thu have sey hem that they be ynowghe and yf hit be nede couch hem in a ghen & stop the pott a ghen & stew hem better & make a good styrip of wyne & mynsyd datys & kanell drawyn with the same wyne & reysons of corauns sigure safron & boyle hit a lytyll then take hit from the fyre medyll hit with poudyr of gynger & with a lytyll of the same wyn do ther to ley the capons on dischys & do a wey the fat of the sewe & do the syrip to the sewe & poure a bovyn on the capons & serve hem forth over a rib of befe & a capon to gedyr in a dysch.


This recipe is related to recipe 103 from A Noble Boke off Cookry.
To stew a capon tak parsly saige ysope rosmary and brek them between your handes and stop the capon ther with and colour it with saffron and couch it in an erthen pot and lay splentes under nethe and about the sides of the pot and straw erbes about the capon and put ther to a quart of wyn and non other licour then couer the pot close that no brothe passe out then set it on a charcole fyere and stew it softly and when it is enoughe set it on a wispe of strawe that it touche not the ground for brekinge then tak out the capon with a prik and luk yf it be enoughe or els stewe it better and mak a ceripe of good wyne mynced dates and canelle anld draw it with the same wyne put ther to raissins of corands sugur saffron and salt and guinger and wyn then lay the capon in a dysshe and put the fat of the sew to the ceripe and poure it on the capon and serue it.  [A Noble Boke off Cookry (England, 1468)]

There is also a related recipe in Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books that similar to the Noble version.
Capons Stwed. Take parcelly, Sauge, Isoppe, Rose Mary, and tyme, and breke hit bitwen thi hondes, and stoppe the Capon there-with; colour hym with Safferon, and couche him in a erthen potte, or of brasse, and ley splentes vnderneth and al abou3t the sides, that the Capon touche no thinge of the potte; strawe good herbes in the potte, and put there-to a pottel of the best wyn that thou may gete, and none other licour; hele the potte with a close led, and stoppe hit abou3te with dogh or bater, that no eier come oute; And set hit on the faire charcole, and lete it seeth easly and longe till hit be ynowe. And if hit be an erthen potte, then set hit on the fire whan thou takest hit downe, and lete hit not touche the grounde for breking; And whan the hete is ouer past, take oute the Capon with a prik; then make a sirippe of wyne, Reysons of corance, sugur and safferon, And boile hit a litull; medel pouder of Ginger with a litul of the same wyn, and do thereto; then do awey the fatte of the sewe of the Capon, And do the Siryppe to the sewe, and powre hit on the capon, and serue it forth.  [Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books (England, 1430)]

Neither of these recipes has the section in the middle of the Wagstaff version, though there is a recipe in MS Pepys 1047 that seems to be closer.
Capons stewed. Take percelly Isope sage Rosemary And tyme breke hit betwene thy hands and stoppe thy capons ther with and color them with saferon And put them yn A erthyn pot or els in brasse for erth is better. And lay splentys underneth and all a boute the sydes so that the capons tuche not the sydes nother the bottom and cast of the same herbys in to þe pot A mong the capons And put a quart or A pynte of the best wyne that thow cansye gette and no other licour And set A lydde ther A pon that wyll ly with yn the brym. And make batur of white of eggys & floure And put betwene the brym A paper lefe or els lyncloth that the batur may stop hit sowrely þat no eyre com owte loke þat hit be thyke of bature And set thy pot on A charecole fyre to the myd syde & se þat the lydde ryse not with the hette and let hit stew esely and long and whan þow supposyth hit is enowgh take hit fro the fyre yf hit be A pot of erth set hit upon a wyspe of ftraw that hit toche not the cold grownde And when the hete is well drawn and over past take of the lydde And take owte thy capons with a stycke And ley them in A noþer vessell and make A syrryp of Wyne And mynct datys and Cannell drawn with the same wyne do ther to rasyns of corance sugur safferon And salt boyle hit A litill And cast yn powder of gynger with a litell of the same wyne do the sew to the syrryppe a bove upon the capons And serue hem furth with A rybbe of beffe ever more a capon on a dysche.  [MS Pepys 1047 (England, ca. 1500)]

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