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History Cookbook: Roasted little chickens (birds) with sauce

This recipe is in categories Normans / Medieval, Main courses
About this recipe
Healthiness : (67 votes)
Preparation Time: 10-15 mins
Cooking Time: Approximately 30 minutes (depending on the size of the birds)
Number of servings: Approximately 1 bird for 2 people
Serving suggestions: With seasonal vegetables

This dish is taken from the Bayeux tapestry which depicts small birds being spit roasted. Several birds are roasted on each spit. Many different kinds of birds were eaten, even songbirds.

The original recipe for spit-roasted birds:
'Take and pull him dry, Kutte away his hede and the necke by the body, and the legges by the kne, and putte the kneys in at the vente, and roste him.'

  • 2 small chickens
  • 1-2 teaspoons lard
 For the sauce:
  • 275ml (10fl oz) red wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and ginger
  • Baking tray
  • Peeler
  • Teaspoon
  • Tablespoon or ladle
  • Pan
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

  1. Rub the fat well over the skin of the birds
  2. Rub in a little salt and pepper if desired
  3. Roast at Gas 5, 190 C or 375F for 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the birds
  4. Baste them a little as they cool
For the sauce:
  1. Peel the top layer of skin off the lemon and add to the vinegar in a pan. Try to put in as little white pith as possible or it will be bitter 
  2. Add the juice of the lemon and the spices
  3. Warm through to allow the flavours to mingle
  4. Spoon over the hot birds 
  5. Return to the oven for a few minutes then serve
Roasted little chickens (birds) with sauce - print view  Roasted little chickens (birds) with sauce - print view

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Name: Robson 2nd May 2012
Thanks for contributing. It's helped me unsdertand the issues.
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