Yseult-Chickn-art - 4/2/10
"Yseult's Spit-Roasted Chicken with Wine and Herbs" by Mistress Yseult de Lacy. (humor)
This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.
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Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous
Stefan at florilegium.org
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2010 19:34:42 +1100
From: "Yseult de Lacy (Chris Robertson)" <yseult_de_lacy at optusnet.com.au>
Subject: [Lochac] How To Cook for Festival Like Mistress Yseult, Par II.
To: "The Shambles, the SCA Lochac mailing list" <lochac at sca.org.au>
Well, I know you've been eagerly waiting for this over the last year, so here it is.
Yseult's Spit-Roasted Chicken with Wine and Herbs
by Mistress Yseult de Lacy
Naturally, the most important ingredient in this is the wine. Get a couple of bottles or a cask of decent red -- you're going to be sitting next to that damn fire for a long time, and will need something to occupy your time. Get some to baste the chicken with, too.
Set two nice comfy stools or chairs out by the fire (one to sit on, one to hold the ingredients -- this one doesn't actually have to be comfy, the ingredients won't care, just flat), and yell at anyone attempting to sit in 'em while you're getting things ready.
Fill a large jug with the wine. Best to sample some to make sure you put the correct stuff in the jug. Can't be too careful. Get out two bowls, one large enough for the chopped herbs, and the other a convenient size to dip the ladle into without knocking it over.
Quarter several oranges -- damn, you'll need another bowl to put 'em in. Bowl, bowl, who's got the third bowl. Why does nobody in this campsite ever wash up? Oh THERE it is. Urrgh. That's revolting. Have some wine to recover from the shock, wash the bowl, and try not to think about what was in it.
Right. Put the orange quarters in the now-clean bowl. Take oregano, parsley, sage, rosemary, and a lot of garlic and chop finely. Put them into the small bowl and yell at the person trying to take your chair away. The Queen can get her own damn chair, what's the use of being Queen if she can't get her lackeys to find her a chair? Oh, I see. Yes, well, long live Her Maj, and the next campsite has LOTS of chairs. What? Now see this, boyo? It's a nice, sharp cleaver. Yes, just over there, off you go.
Celebrate your victory with a little more wine, and pour a cup into the bowl the ladle fits in. Add a tablespoon or so of the herbs and squeeze in a quarter-section of the orange. Ick. Sticky. Wash your hands. This is your basting liquid, which you will re-make as you use it up. Do not let anyone else in the campsite drink it. Even if they beg.
The chicken should be thawed, and preferably room temperature before you start to roast it. Damn -- it's still half-frozen. Oh well, we can be lavish with the next step.
Place chicken arse up in a jug -- oops, used it for the wine. Is this the right wine? Ah yes, not bad, at all. OK, get a small pot. Gosh that chicken looks silly with its legs in the air, but I guess I would --- let's not go there. STOP LAUGHING AND WASH SOMETHING UP, I know what you put in that bowl you disgusting little creature. AND I could tell your mother, too.
Now bring a 1-2 liter pot of water to the boil at the edge of the fire. AAAAHHHHH! What's happened to my fire? Where did all these huge logs come from? Oh, you thought it needed building up, did you? Well, you can just un-build it and move the logs to the other side so I've got those nice coals back again. Yes, like that. Thank you. Gosh I love to see the young working hard.
Now bring out the upside-down chicken in its pot and place it next to the fire. AAAAHHHHH! What's happened to my fire? NO I wasn't finished, I won't be finished for hours, you scurvy knave. MOVE those logs. Yes, AGAIN.
Ladle the boiling water into the cavity of the bird. Let it stand for a few minutes, pick up pot and bird and all, tip the liquid back into the water pot (it helps if you miss your front while you're doing this. BOY!!! Get me a towel!), bring it to the boil again, and repeat several times. This gets pretty boring, especially if you're actually de-frosting most of the chicken -- don't forget the wine jug. You'll need it. If anyone looks at you funny, tip your current cup of wine into the chicken cavity and mutter "marinate, marinate, damn you" until they go away. Re-fill your cup. This step (no, not re-filling your cup, the boiling water in the cavity. Duh.) ensures the chicken begins cooking with its little insides all nicely warm and runny -- uh, I mean hot and parboiled. Thus you don't end up with a bird burned on the outside and raw on the inside and the King glaring at you.
Now shove a quartered orange into the cavity and squish the pieces a bit. Sticky time again, rinse your hand in the basting liquid, the wine cuts the juice nicely. Wipe hand on apron. Damn -- not wearing it. BOY!!! Come here -- no one'll notice on your tunic. Thank you. Yes, you can go away again. A long way. Tie your bird to the spit as tightly as you can. Try to arrange the spit so you can roast the bird in front of the fire, but when this fails, try to get it across one corner of the coals with plenty more nice coals to the side to keep raking in. Baste the chicken and go it to fetch a skewer to help brace it in place.
Carefully brace the chicken --- AAAAHHHHH! What's happened to my fire? I though I said a LONG way! OK, I am so telling your mother on you. Take the logs away, put the coals back. Right. Now fill up my glass and go and at least TRY to do something useful. HEY -- leave that jug alone. Oh all right, you can have some wine. From the cask in the kitchen, NOT my wine jug. You're too young for your palette to have developed.
WHAT WAS THAT? I distinctly heard the words "palette" and "shriveled". Do you REALLY want me to tell your mother about that cute St Ursulan? You keep a civil tongue in your head, lad. And ONLY your tongue -- you're too young. Shut up.
Tra la la la. Baste and turn, baste and turn, fill the winecup, baste and turn, with a rum-tum tiddly-um, baste and turn again, pull more coals und-er chick-en. Hmm, time to make up more basting liquid; need more wine. Where's that boy? Better get it myself. Ah, fire's just how I left it -- dying down a bit, though. BOY!!! Oh, there you are. I'll need some more coals over here to put under the chicken; you'd better add some wood to the other side. Baste and turn, fill your cup ... Oh, greetings, Your Excellency. I'm wanted by Her Majesty? Something about a chair? mumble mumble can't take a joke mumble mumble-- be right with you. BOY!!! Watch the chicken while I'm gone.
Threatened your lackey with a cleaver, Your Majesty? No no, just used it to point at the VERY COMFORTABLE spare chairs in the next campsite. Silly lad, so excitable. Yes OF COURSE there will be extra saffron and honey quiche for dessert. (Damn, that was *my* slice.)
Back to the baste-and-turn -- AAAAHHHHH! What's happened to my fire? Why is it blazing up around my chicken? Why is the chicken burned black? Why didn't you watch it? Oh. You did watch it. Never took your eyes off it. YOU LOUSY, FLEA-BITTEN, POX-RIDDEN EXCUSE FOR A SCULLION, HAVE YOU NO BRAINS? (Don't answer that -- it was a rhetorical question.) GET THAT STUFF out from under the chicken. No, not ALL of it, leave me at least ONE coal, you lackwit!
Where's the basting liquid? AND the wine in the jug? That does it, you're not helping me next year, no matter HOW much your mother pays me. OUT. RIGHT NOW. Don't come back till dinner, and you'd better be sober and presentable so you can serve High Table.
Oh. My. Ghod. The chicken for High Table is Burned Black. What to do? Let's start by basting. Poor thing's dry as a ten-year drought. Maybe if I have some more wine myself everything won't seem so bad.
Make up more basting liquid, oops, buit heavy on the wine, but 'sOK. Basty baste baste. BASTE BASTE. Turn, baste baste. No, still looks pretty bad (Slurp. Where's those rainbow spectacles when I need 'em?) -- baste, Baste, BASTE, *BASTE. *Hmm, looking a bit better. Bastebastebastebastenastebastebate. Cautiously wipe a fingertip across glistening skin. Taste.
Oh. My. Ghod. A miracle has happened! That is THE best sauce I've ever tasted. Are we done? Stick skewers in both breasts and thighs -- all runs clear. I'm saved!
* * *
Oh hello dear, how are you doing? My you've dressed the lad up nicely; all ready to serve High Table? No, no, nothing serious. Just a bit clumsy here and there. I'm sure he'll grow out of it. Go in a get settled, Their Majesties should be here any minute.
BOY!! Fetch the platter for the chicken. YES, the wooden one. You think we're serving Their Majs on plastic? Do you have ANY brains? (Don't answer that, it's a rhetorical question.)
* * *
So glad you enjoyed the feast, Your Majesty. Honey and saffron quiche IS good, isn't it? (...wish I'd had some...) The amazing chicken? Ah, that's my secret recipe. Not even Royalty can pry it out of me (hic!).
--Yseult de Lacy (HIC!)