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Tuesday, August 23, 2011


OCast almondrote, OCat almadroc(h), almendoc(h), Cat. allmodrote, almadroch, almendroch, almodroch, Hisp Ar. almaţūg from Ar. matrūg or al-mojrot, L. ad-moretum (mortar), It. hipotrymma, Eng. mashed (in a mortar); an emulsifying cheese sauce. Basically, it is made with garlic, a yolk from a hard-boiled egg, lard or oil, spices, and grated cheese. Although the terminology is derived from Arabic, no recipe for almodrote appears in Hispano-Arabic sources. Apicius provides forerunners in his recipes for moretaria, herbs and spices mashed in a mortar with vinegar and hipotrymma, a condiment sauce in which the main ingredient is cheese. Sent Sovi and Nola’s almodrotes are garlic and cheese emulsified sauces. In Sent Sovi, it accompanies roasted chicken, pork or partridge while Nola and Villena state that capírotada is the same as almodrote as he uses the sauce as a cape over the meat. Navarro indicates that it can be made to accompany white sausage as well. It is similar to alioli as it is used to accompany meats, especially roast pork or fowl. There are several variations. Today, the sauce is popular on the Canary Islands, especially La Gomera where it is called almedroc, almogrote, mojo palmero or mojo de queso. They contain cheese, eggs, garlic and cayenne pepper. See alls esquesos. Anón/Grewe. 1982:CXXXXI:160-161:ftn 2:CXXXXII:161-162:Apè I:65:229 etc; Apicius/Flower. 1958:59; Baena/Dutton. 1993:586:754:v648; Delgado. 1985:24; ES: Brighid. Guisados 2-art. Jun 6, 01: 97:ftn 31; ES: Gázquez. “El prodigio”. Jun 1, 02; García del Cerro. 1990:23; Gitlitz. 1999:56-57; Lladonosa. Cocina. 1984:134:155; Martínez Llopis. “Prólogo” 1982:18; Nola 1989:xxii-1; Nola/Pérez. 1992:187; and Villena/Calero. 2002:60b]


For 4 persons

Cheesy Chicken
Photo by: Simply Frugal

2 lb whole chicken (Nola’s calls for partridge)
2 tbsp bacon fat
2 garlic heads
2 tsp olive oil
4 oz mature ewe’s cheese
1tbsp lard
2 egg yolks
4 tbsp mutton broth or **extra virgin olive oil
2 c mutton broth
8 slices of toasted bread
salt and pepper to taste
sprigs of parsley to garnish


Preheat oven at 350º F/190º C

After plucking the chicken singe the skin during the length of time it takes to recite the Lord’s Prayer (1 minute). Wash it, baste it with bacon fat and place it in a roasting pan.

Peel out layers of skin of the garlic head, leaving skins of individual cloves intact and the head whole. Cut ½” off the pointed end of the head, exposing the cloves. Place the heads in enough aluminum foil to cover them completely and pour ½ tsp of olive oil over each head. Recite the Lord’s Prayer again. Then pour another ½ tsp over each garlic head. Wrap them up in the aluminum foil and place them next the chicken in the roasting pan.

Roast the chicken, basting as necessary, and for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from oven but do not turn off oven. Unwrap the garlic and while cooling, carve the chicken.

Remove the skin from the garlic cloves, cut in half and purée them in a blender. Add egg yolks and grind. When all is well blended add grated cheese. Mix well and *4 tbsp warm but not hot broth (it should not melt the cheese) and mix well. Toast the bread. Soak it in broth in a deep plate. Place one layer of bread in an oven proof dish, then a layer of sliced chicken, followed by another layer of bread until dish is full or chicken and bread are used up. Pour the cheese sauce over this. Return to oven for about 10 minutes in order to serve warm. Garnish with parsley.

* For variations of this recipe see blog tltled capírotada for Sent Soví's #CXXXXI published September 8, 2012, another Sent Soví version, recipe #CXXXXII published February 11, 2012 and esparcita published April 25, 2014 for Villena's version.
**This sauce is good warm or cold. It can be used as a vegetable sauce or a salad dressing. If making a salad dressing, instead of broth add olive oil very slowly while blending the sauce as if making mayonnaise. It will keep refrigerated during one week.


  1. I've been reading through your recipes (to date) and find this one the most appealing. Something the whole family will enjoy I'm sure. I will be keeping a couple of the other recipes as well though. :•)

  2. Thank you so much for your comment. Not only is it a nice change for the family but my guests like it very much too and it is easy to give it an artistic touch when presenting it.