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Author Topic: Medieval "Wine-braised Coney" recipe  (Read 8772 times)

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Offline Evie

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Medieval "Wine-braised Coney" recipe
« on: June 20, 2012, 02:08:22 pm »
OK, so I've mentioned Duncan's favorite dish, wine-braised coney, in a few of my fanfics, but up until yesterday I had no real idea what that might be aside from, as the name implies, some form of rabbit cooked in a wine-based sauce.  But as I was looking at some medieval recipes yesterday, this one caught my eye:

Connynges in Cyrip, taken from Forme of Cury, a 14th Century cookbook originally compiled by King Richard II's master cooks:

http://www.godecookery.com/mtrans/mtrans01.htm

Just reading over this recipe, even though there aren't any ingredient measurements listed, I thought it sounded quite yummy, and since I happened to have most of the ingredients on hand at home, I decided to give it a try.  I don't much care for rabbit meat myself (though in fairness I've only tried wild rabbit; it's possible that domesticated rabbit bred for market might taste less "gamey"), so I substituted chicken thighs, as the meat is quite similar, only less...well...rabbity.   :D  I also couldn't obtain currants, so I had to substitute craisins (dried cranberries) instead.  But other than that, I followed the recipe as closely as I could.

Here is my version of Duncan's "wine braised coney."  The measurements in this are only "guesstimates"; the recipe gives none, and I meant to measure things properly and take proper notes of how much I used, but I forgot, so I pretty much just eyeballed how much to put in and made it up as I went along.  But judging from my husband's reaction to it, he loved the final result just as much as Duncan does.   ;D

So here is "Wine-braised Coney Chicken":

Broth, 2 cans (Any kind of broth you like is fine, but for mine I used one 14.5 oz can each of beef broth and chicken broth.  Homemade broth would probably be even better, and the exact amount doesn't matter as long as it's enough to boil the chicken or rabbit pieces in.)

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, 1 pkg (I think there were 8 in the package.  And again, boned thighs would be fine, but this is what I had available.  This recipe would work best with juicy thighs or drumsticks rather than white meat like chicken breast, I suspect, since white meat isn't as moist and tender.)

I put the chicken thighs into the broth mixture along with approx. 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp cumin, a couple of sprinkles of dried parsley flakes (fresh would be better), and since I didn't have saffron on hand, I added a dash of turmeric for color.  I set this on high heat and allowed the chicken to boil until it cooked throughout, but took it off the heat just as soon as it had reached that point.  In the meantime, I started putting together the ingredients for the sauce:

For the sweet "Greek wine," I substituted some moscato wine.  Again, I just used what was left in an open bottle I had on hand, but I guess it was roughly between 1.5 and 2 cups. 

Craisins--Maybe about 1/2 cup.  Could be more or less according to tastes or what you have on hand, but the fruit is meant to lend some natural sweetness to the sauce's eventually sweet/tart flavor, so use at least 1/4 cup.  My wine was on the less sweet end of the moscato spectrum, so I made sure there was a generous handful of craisins in the sauce.  Naturally, since the original recipe called for currants, if you can find these they'd be a better choice.

Red wine vinegar--I only used one tablespoon, and even with that mixed in, the sauce was just a tad too tart for my liking (though granted, when I first taste tested it, the craisins hadn't steeped in the wine for long enough to impart much extra sweetness), so I added just a little bit (maybe just over a teaspoon?) of honey to balance it back out.  On the other hand, if you use an extremely sweet moscato wine, then 1 tbsp of red wine vinegar would probably be perfect to balance it out.  Once you have the right balance of wine, fruit, and vinegar, you should end up with a sauce base that is neither too sour nor too sweet, but just the right blend of fruity sweetness and tartness.  To this base, I added the following:

Powdered Cinnamon (forgot to measure, but it was several generous sprinkles, so maybe 1 to 1.5 tsp?)
Whole cloves (approx. 1 tsp)
Whole cubebs (they are similar to black peppercorns, but milder)--I added about 1 tsp.  If you can't find cubeb, you might be able to use a little black pepper and allspice to get a similar flavor
Crystallized ginger pieces (mine were tiny chucks of crystallized ginger, and I added maybe a tablespoon.  I could have used more, but I was saving the rest to make ginger cookies later.  Fresh ginger could have been used, but I had none on hand, and I eat crystallized ginger like candy, so that's what I had in stock.)
A dash of cardamom powder

I brought the sauce to a boil (or "syrup" as the recipe calls it, though it ends up being not quite like what I'd consider a syrup, being neither as thick nor as sweet), and then added my chicken pieces to it, saving the broth to boil orzo in.   I turned the heat on the chicken and sauce to medium low and let it continue to cook, covering it to start off with, but later I took the lid off so the sauce (which was still quite watery at that point) could cook down a bit.  The craisins plumped up and then softened as they cooked, which also helped to thicken the resulting sauce.  I'm not sure how long I cooked this--maybe twenty to thirty minutes?--but it was long enough for the flavors to blend and for me to turn the chicken several times to get a good coating, and for the sauce to reduce and thicken a bit.  In the meantime, I boiled the orzo in the leftover broth, which soaked up most of it, so there was only a little excess broth to strain out when it was time to drain the orzo. 

I served the "wine-braised coney chicken" over the orzo with a few spoonfuls of wine/craisins mixture poured over the top, and some steamed veggies (a storebought baby carrots, green beans, and cauliflower mix in a basil butter sauce) on the side.  Hubby proclaimed the dish to be as yummy as my Moroccan chicken, another recipe I discovered when I was worldbuilding for my first novel and trying to determine what the local cuisine was like, so the takeaway lesson from all this seems to be that Evie does her best cooking when inspired by her story characters.  So if my family wants to eat well, they need to let me write more!  At least that's my take on it.   :D







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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Medieval "Wine-braised Coney" recipe
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2012, 03:37:40 pm »
You are a braver (and more imaginative) cook than I am.   :)

Though now I have a picture of all your action figures seated around one trencher holding one coney chicken thigh to share, and Duncan is holding up a craisen in both hands and declaring it "Excellent!"  ;D
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

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Offline Evie

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Re: Medieval "Wine-braised Coney" recipe
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2012, 04:36:06 pm »
LOL!  Well, Action Figure Duncan was watching me eat it last night.  I should have taken a picture.  Maybe I will when I finish off the leftovers....   :D
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Offline derynifanatic64

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Re: Medieval "Wine-braised Coney" recipe
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2012, 06:28:44 pm »
Coneys were featured in "The Two Towers" (LOTR).  Gollum had killed a few coneys and started to eat one raw when Samwise took them from him and cooked them.
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Offline Evie

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Re: Medieval "Wine-braised Coney" recipe
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2012, 07:40:24 pm »
And for photos of my "little people" enjoying the leftovers of this fine feast, check here:

http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php?topic=844.msg6500#msg6500

 ;D
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Offline Elkhound

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Re: Medieval "Wine-braised Coney" recipe
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2012, 09:08:19 pm »
Basically 'coq au vin', substituting rabbit for the chicken.

Offline Elkhound

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Re: Medieval "Wine-braised Coney" recipe
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2012, 08:29:39 am »
Did the Furry One get some?

Offline Evie

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Re: Medieval "Wine-braised Coney" recipe
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2012, 09:45:05 am »
Not just then, but I let him lick my plate afterwards.  And I'm pretty sure he made off with a chunk of carrot or two.
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Offline Elkhound

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Re: Medieval "Wine-braised Coney" recipe
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2012, 07:29:13 am »
I don't have rabbit very often---it is QUITE expensive here--but when I do, Zane goes crazy for it.  (The one time I had squirrel, he went absolutely bonkers.)

Offline Evie

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Re: Medieval "Wine-braised Coney" recipe
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2012, 09:06:48 am »
How does store-bought rabbit compare to wild rabbit?  Does it still have the "gamey" taste, or has that been reduced or eliminated due to domestication?  Or have you had enough of each type to be able to compare?

The only rabbit or squirrel I've ever eaten (and in both cases, that was decades ago) was whatever my granddad managed to bring back from a hunt to put on the dinner table.  I think my grandmother use to fry them in a cast iron skillet and served them with gravy (I definitely remember the gravy; not nearly as certain of the cooking method, except that I'm fairly sure she cooked both on the stove and not in the oven).  My mother would try to fool me into thinking I was eating chicken, but even if the different flavor hadn't given it away, my mom's avid staring at me while I ate and her too-innocent inquiries about how I liked my "chicken" were rather obvious tells.  :D
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Offline tenworld

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Re: Medieval "Wine-braised Coney" recipe
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2012, 10:44:20 am »
How does store-bought rabbit compare to wild rabbit?  Does it still have the "gamey" taste, or has that been reduced or eliminated due to domestication?  Or have you had enough of each type to be able to compare?

tastes like chicken.  Seriously, especially if cooked like chicken.  Wild game including vension can vary wildly in taste depending on what its diet was and how it died.  white meat is a product of contolled feeding.  Wild goose eg even the breast is like dark meat.

Offline Evie

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Re: Medieval "Wine-braised Coney" recipe
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2012, 12:52:23 pm »
How does store-bought rabbit compare to wild rabbit?  Does it still have the "gamey" taste, or has that been reduced or eliminated due to domestication?  Or have you had enough of each type to be able to compare?

tastes like chicken.  Seriously, especially if cooked like chicken. 

In that case, I'll stick to chicken, since it's much easier to obtain and to afford.   :D

Quote
Wild game including vension can vary wildly in taste depending on what its diet was and how it died.  white meat is a product of contolled feeding.  Wild goose eg even the breast is like dark meat.

I've had venison before, and liked it well enough when it was prepared in a way that removed the gamey taste.  (I've forgotten what the trick to that was--the cook told me--but whatever it was, it worked.)  But even then, it's not something I like well enough to go out of my way to look for it.  And when it's not prepared that way....yuck.  *wrinkled nose*  Spoiled modern first-worlder palate, I suppose!   :D  I vaguely remember trying moose steak once, when I was a child and living in Michigan at the time, and not being able to tell much if any difference between that and a regular steak, but that's hardly a meat I'm likely to find in an Alabama grocery store! 

I don't remember if I've ever had goose.  I've had duck, which was OK, though a bit on the oilier/fattier side than I'd prefer.  My mom has tried rattlesnake, which she describes as being like a cross between fish and chicken, which is enough to put me off trying it altogether, given my loathing for any sort of fish or seafoods.  (She didn't care for it much either, and this is a woman with an adventurous palate who likes most foods, incljuding seafood.)  And I've tried alligator, but again...ew!  I think there must be something in the diet of water-dwellers (and/or eaters of water-dwellers) that turns me off to them as food meats altogether.

"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline Elkhound

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Re: Medieval "Wine-braised Coney" recipe
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2012, 08:08:35 am »
How does store-bought rabbit compare to wild rabbit?  Does it still have the "gamey" taste, or has that been reduced or eliminated due to domestication?  Or have you had enough of each type to be able to compare?

It doesn't have the gamey taste.  But it really doesn't taste like chicken--more like chicken than anything else, but not really.

Quote
The only rabbit or squirrel I've ever eaten (and in both cases, that was decades ago) was whatever my granddad managed to bring back from a hunt to put on the dinner table. 

I only had squirrel once, when a hunter friend gave me one.  I made squirrel cacciatore.  It was very good---rather like dark-meat chicken but with a nut-like flavor.

Offline Elkhound

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Re: Medieval "Wine-braised Coney" recipe
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2012, 08:09:53 am »
tastes like chicken.  Seriously, especially if cooked like chicken. 

Not quite; more like chicken than anything else, but not really.  The texture is different.

Offline Elkhound

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Re: Medieval "Wine-braised Coney" recipe
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2012, 08:16:35 am »
I've had venison before, and liked it well enough when it was prepared in a way that removed the gamey taste.  (I've forgotten what the trick to that was--the cook told me--but whatever it was, it worked.)  But even then, it's not something I like well enough to go out of my way to look for it.  And when it's not prepared that way....yuck.  *wrinkled nose*  Spoiled modern first-worlder palate, I suppose!   :D  I vaguely remember trying moose steak once, when I was a child and living in Michigan at the time, and not being able to tell much if any difference between that and a regular steak, but that's hardly a meat I'm likely to find in an Alabama grocery store! 

Marinating it in wine or vinegar.

Quote
I don't remember if I've ever had goose.

Once.  When I was about eight I had read Dickens for the first time, and said I wanted goose for Christmas dinner.  My grandmother called every grocery store in town to find it--this was back in the '60s when we didn't have the variety in our stores we do now--and when she DID find one, it was all the way across town in just about the WORST neighborhood.  Then neither she nor my mother had any idea of how to cook it!

I remember that none of us liked it,although I remember both mother and grandmother telling the story later and saying that if they had known what they were doing it would probably have been better.


Quote
  I've had duck, which was OK, though a bit on the oilier/fattier side than I'd prefer.  My mom has tried rattlesnake, which she describes as being like a cross between fish and chicken, which is enough to put me off trying it altogether, given my loathing for any sort of fish or seafoods.  (She didn't care for it much either, and this is a woman with an adventurous palate who likes most foods, incljuding seafood.)  And I've tried alligator, but again...ew!  I think there must be something in the diet of water-dwellers (and/or eaters of water-dwellers) that turns me off to them as food meats altogether.

I've never had either alligator or rattlesnake, but I have had turtle, and rather liked it.

Here's another: frog legs. 
« Last Edit: June 23, 2012, 07:48:01 pm by Elkhound »

 

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