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Roasted little chickens (birds) with sauce

This recipe is in categories Normans Medieval, Main courses
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  • Preparing Roasted Chickens
    Preparing Roasted Chickens
About this recipe
Healthiness : (47 votes)
Difficulty:  3 out of 5 difficulty
View a modern version of this recipe

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."

For pictures of the cooking process see our Roasted Little Birds Pictures.

With thanks to Cathy Flower-Bond (Tudor Tales) and the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum for their help with making this podcast.
  • 2 small chickens
  • a little lard (or butter)
 For the sauce:
  • red wine vinegar
  • a lemon
  • cinnamon and ginger
  • Spit for roasting the chickens
  • Mixing bowl
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. Slide the birds onto your metal spit
  4. Set by the fire, turning and basting often
For the sauce:
  1. Set a pot by the fire to warm. Once warm add the vinegar to the pot
  2. 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)
  3. Add the juice of the lemon and the spices
  4. Warm through to allow the flavours to mingle
  5. Spoon over the hot birds and serve
Roasted little chickens (birds) with sauce  - print view  Roasted little chickens (birds) with sauce - print view

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There are 3 comments for this recipe.
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Name: Basit 17th June 2015
Name: Mara Thompson 30th October 2012
that is really cool!
Name: Vyolet 13th January 2012
Wow! Great thiinkng! JK
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