Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) - Cxxxvij. Chykonys in dropey Chicken with Gravy & .Clij. Capoun in Salome - Capon and Gravy
|Chykonys in dropey with a Diuers Sallets boyled|
drope (n.) Also drope, dropeie, (?error) drore. A sauce or dressing for fowl. (a1399) Form Cury p.18: Dropee. Take blanched Almandes, grynde hem and temper hem up with gode broth; take Oynons..and frye hem and do thereto: take smale bryddes, parboyle hem [etc.]. ?c1425 Arun. Cook. Recipes 429: Drore to Potage. Take almonds..brothe of flesshe...onyons..small briddes [etc.] ibid. 449: At the seconde course drope, and rose to potage. al450 Hrl.Cook.Bk.(1) 30: Chykons in dropeye.
A pottage is anything that can be cooked in a pot. Fortified by the definition I found, I had convinced myself that using a mixture of the almond milk, wheat starch or rice flour and the alkanet colored grease was the correct direction to go. However, according to the "The Food History Timeline", roux is a 17th century French preparation.
Roux in French literally means 'reddish' (or 'orange') hence the first roux were made by cooking flour and butter together until a reddish tint was obtained then using this to thicken a souce or broth. Its widespread use in French cooking seems to date from the mid-17th century. At that time, La Varenne (1651) described the preparation of a liaison de farine (flour thickener) made by cooking flour in lard and, by the end of the century, cooks are referring to this mixture either as farine frit or roux.What then was the purpose of mixing the grease and alkenade together as we are advised to?
"þen take fayre freysshe grece, & putte Alkenade þer-to, & gader his coloure þer-of"
It was not until I had researched similar recipes that I found the answer. One of the earliest versions of Chykonys in Dropey can be found in "The Forme of Cury" by Samuel Pegge. There is another set of instructions for a dish called Fonnell, that instructs us to use grease that has been heated until it melted with alkanet as a decoration for the dish before it is sent out to the table. I have used these instructions for the interpretation of Chyknoys in Dropey presented above.
FONNELL . XX.III. II.
 Fonnell. Nothing in the recipe leads to the etymon of this multifarious dish.  Lombe. Lamb.  thridde. Third, per metathesin.  yfasted (made secure) and ystyned (closed).  cleeue. cloven.  ypaunced. pounced.  yfoundred. melted, dissolved.  feþ'. feather.
137 - Chicken in Dropeye - They should be fair boiled in fair water till they be enough, then take them first and chop them small, and when they be enough, temper up a good almond milk of the same, and with wine, mix with wheat starch, or with flour of rice, then take fair fresh grease, and put alkanet there-to, and gather his color there-of and let they be quarters five or six in a dish, as it will come about, and salt it at the dresser, sprinkle (sprynge) with a feather or two here and there about the dish, and if you like, put there-on powder ginger, but not above, but in the potage, and then serve forth.
Yield: 2 Servings
2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs (for ease of serving)
1 cup almond milk made with broth chicken was boiled in
2 tbsp. lard (preferred), or butter or oil can be substituted (I used bacon grease)
Opt: 1 chicken bouilloncube or 1 cup chicken stock instead of water to cook chicken in for extra flavor, up to 1/4 cup dry white wine.
It was a good meal enjoyed by both me and the taste tester. I did not use the wine in the recipe but opted to use bouillon cubes to add additional flavor to the chicken as it cooked.
Clij - Capoun in Salome. Take a Capoun and skalde hym, Roste hym, then take thikke Almaunde mylke, temper it wyth wyne Whyte other Red, take a lytyl Saunderys and a lytyl Safroun, and make it a marbyl coloure, and so atte the dressoure throw on hym in ye kychoun, and throw the Mylke a-boue, and that is most comely, and serue forth.
1 cup almond milk made with 1/4 cup white or red wine
DREPEE . XIX.
Take blanched Almandes grynde hem and temper hem up with gode broth take Oynouns a grete quantite parboyle hem and frye hem and do þerto. take smale bryddes  parboyle hem and do þerto Pellydore  and salt. and a lytel grece.
 Drepee. Qu.  bryddes. Birds. Per metathesin; v. R. in Indice.  Pellydore. Perhaps pellitory. Peletour, 104.
Fourme of Curye [Rylands MS 7] (England, 1390)
.xix. Drepee. Take blaunched almaundes, grynd hem & temper up with gode broth take oynouns a grete quantite, & boile hem & fry hem & fo therto, take smale briddes perboile hem & do therto, & do therto pellydore & salt & a litul grece.