Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) - .xlij. Conyng, Mawlard, in gely or in cyuey & .lxxiij. Conyngys in cyveye & .lxiij. Harys in Cyueye.

xlij. Conyng, Mawlard, in gely or in cyuey - Hen in Onion Sauce

Updated 5/21/2021 to inlcude similar recipes:  .lxxiij. Conyngys in cyveye & .lxiij. Harys in Cyueye.

Many moons ago, when I was first active in the SCA, I came across an excellent recipe in "The Ordinance of Pottage" for a dish called "Hare in Cyve" which I highly recommend.  It was very well received and became one of my "go to" feast dishes.  Hey, we all have them, right?  So when I found this recipe in Two fifteenth-century cookery-books. Harleian ms. 279 (ab. 1430), & Harl. ms. 4016 (ab. 1450), with extracts from Ashmole ms. 1429, Laud ms. 553, & Douce ms. 55" Thomas Austin it was very exciting for me and I knew I had to make it.

Conyng is a reference to a young rabbit.  Hare refers to any member of the leporidae family, which are similar to rabbits, but have longer ears. Mawlard refers to a duck.  

A cyuey refers to a spicy sauce that has been thickened and includes onions among other spices.  This is delicious and I am so glad to find that it can extend to duck and hen (chicken) as well as rabbit.  I urge you to try it!

.xlij. Conyng, Mawlard, in gely or in cyuey.—Take Conynge, Hen, or Mawlard, and roste hem alle-most y-now, or ellys choppe hem, an frye hem in fayre Freysshe grece; an frye myncyd Oynenons, and caste alle in-to þe potte, & caste þer-to fayre Freysshe brothe, an half Wyne, Maces, Clowes, Powder pepir, Canelle; þan take fayre Brede, an wyth þe same brothe stepe, an draw it þorw a straynoure wyth vynegre; an whan it is wyl y-boylid, caste þe lycoure þer to, & powder Gyngere, & Salt, & sesyn it vp an serue forth.

xlij - Conyng, Mawlard, in gely or in cyuey. Take Conynge, Hen, or Mawlard, and roste hem alle-most y-now, or ellys choppe hem, an frye hem in fayre Freysshe grece; an frye myncyd Oynenons, and caste alle in-to the potte, and caste ther-to fayre Freysshe brothe, an half Wyne, Maces, Clowes, Powder pepir, Canelle; than take fayre Brede, an wyth the same brothe stepe, an draw it thorw a straynoure wyth vynegre; an whan it is wyl y-boylid, caste the lycoure ther to, and powderGyngere, and Salt, and sesyn it vp an serue forth [correction; sic = f].

42.  Rabbit, Duck, in Jelly or in Civey - Take rabbit, hen, or duck, and roast them all most enough, or else chop them, and fry them in fair fresh grease; and fry minced onions, and cast all into the pot, and cast there-to fair fresh broth, and half wine, maces, cloves, powder pepper, cinnamon; then take fair bread, and with the same broth soak, and draw it through a strainer with vinegar; and when it is well boiled, cast the liquor there to, and powder ginger, and salt, and season it up and serve forth.

Interpreted Recipe                                                                                         Serves 1 as main, 2 or more as side

1/4 pound chicken, rabbit, or duck cleaned and cut into bite sized pieces (I used chicken thighs)
1 tbsp. oil, butter, lard
1/4 small onion minced
1/4 cup white wine
3/4 cup broth (I used chicken)
2-3 whole cloves
1/8 tsp. each pepper, cinnamon and mace
2-3 tbsp. bread crumbs
1 tbsp. vinegar (I used red wine)
1/4 tsp. ginger
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a pot (it's one less dish!) and add onions and meat of choice.  Lower heat and let the meat and onions cook until onions are transparent.  Do not brown the meat.  Add broth, wine, mace, clove, pepper and cinnamon to the pot and continue cooking until meat is tender.  While meat is cooking, mix together bread crumbs and vinegar until it forms a paste. Add the bread to the meat and thicken to your desired taste.  Before serving add ginger and taste for salt, add salt if needed.

This is an excellent dish that can be made ahead of time and reheated day of. It would be great for a luncheon dish as well.  When I have served Hieatt's dish in the past, I served it over noodles and over rice.  I prefer the lozenges (noodles) to the rice, but either will serve to catch the delicious gravy! If nothing else use sops! The gravy makes the dish.  You could also choose to make it less thick and serve it as more of a stew, or even soupy.  It is quite forgiving in that regard.

The taste testers enjoyed this dish.  One comment was "I would lick the bowl but I'm trying to be polite!" ~laughs~.  Of the two dishes I cooked today, this was the preferred dish.  Threats were made (in jest) to get the last bite and it has been agreed that this is a dish I should make more often...just because it's that good.

.lxiij. Harys in Cyueye.—Take Harys, & Fle hem, & make hem clene, an hacke hem in gobettys, & sethe hem in Water & Salt a lytylle; þan take Pepyr, an Safroun, an Brede, y-grounde y-fere, & temper it wyth Ale; þan take Oynonys & Percely, y-mynced smal to-gederys, & sethe hem be hem self, & afterward take & do þer-to a porcyon of Vynegre, & dresse in.

63. Hares in Cyveye - take hares, and flay them, and make them clean, and hack them in gobbets (pieces), and seethe (boil) them in water & salt a little; then take pepper, and saffron, and bread, ground together, and temper it with ale; then take onions and parsley minced small together, and boil them by themselves, and afterword take and do there-to a portion of vineger, and dress him. 

.lxxiij. Conyngys in cyveye.—Take Conyngys, an fle hem, & seþe hem, & make lyke þou woldyst make a sewe, saue alle-to-choppe hem, & caste Safroun & lyer þer-to, & Wyne.

73. Coney in Onion Sauce - Take coneys, an flay them, and seeth (boil) them, and make like you would make a sauce, save all to chop them, and cast saffron and layer (liver?) there-to, and wine.  

Similar Recipes

Forme of Cury (England, 1390)

Connynges In Cynee. XXV. Take Connynges and smyte hem on peces. and seeþ hem in gode broth, mynce Oynouns and seeþ hem in grece and in gode broth do þerto. drawe a lyre of brede. blode. vynegur and broth do þerto with powdour fort.
An Anonymous Tuscan Cookery Book (Italy, ~1400 - Ariane Helou, trans.)

Civero of hare and other meats. Cut apart a whole hare, and, when it has been washed a little, cook it in water; then take the cooked liver and lungs, grind them well in a mortar, and when said hare is cooked, take spices, pepper and onions, and fry them in lard with said lungs and toasted bread: and when all these things have boiled together, serve it to the table. Note that you must mince and grind the cooked liver and lungs in a mortar with spices and toasted bread, and dilute it with good wine and a bit of vinegar. And then it has been cooked and the hare fried with onion, pour said sauce over the hare, and let it cool to room temperature, and serve. And you can do the same with pernici, that is partridges.
Ancient Cookery [Arundel 334] (England, 1425)

Conynges in cyne. Take conynges and parboyle hom, and sinyte hom on gobettes and sethe hom; and take onyons and mynce hom, and frye hom in grees, and do therto; and take bred steped in brothe and blode, and drawe up a lyoure (mixture) wyth brothe and vynegur, and do therin; and pouder of pepur and of clowes, and serve hit forthe.