Monday, September 14, 2015

Recipes from John Crophill's Commonplace Book - 8 Chikens in Cryteyne

Recipes from John Crophill's Commonplace Book (Harley MS 1735)

This manuscript is dated before 1485.

The 68 recipes in John Crophill's Commonplace Book are on pages 16v through 28v.

Images of the original manuscript are freely available on the British 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,


[8.] Chikens in Cryteyne
Tak cowys melk lye it up with amydon or with flour force it up with poudre of ginger galentyn canel comyn colour it up with saffron sethz the chikenis hew hem on quarters boille it alle to gidre seson it up with sugre.


This recipe is part of a broad family of recipes that go by a wide range of similar names, such as "cretonne", "cruton", "gretney", and "kirtin". The sauce for the dish varies widely as well, most being thickened with almond milk but some use eggs or flour instead. Again, the closest match for the Crophill version comes from Liber and Noble.
Chekyns in cretene. Take cow mylke, lye hit anone With flowre, or ellis with amydone. Fors hit with galyngale and gode gyngere, With canel and comyn, alle in fere, Coloure hit with safron þo. Þe chekyns by hom selfe þo sethe þer to, Hew hom in quarteres and lay hom inne, Boyle hom up with alle, no more ne mynne. But seson hit with sugur suete, And serve hom forthe for þay ben sete.  [Liber cure cocorum (England, 1430)]
To dight chekins in kirtyne tak cow creme and alay it with flour or whit amydon and fors it with galingalle guinger canelle comyn and saffron then sethe your chekins and quarter them and sesson them with sugur and serue it.  [A Noble Boke off Cookry (England, 1468)]

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