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Tuesday, October 11, 2011


BTW, I love these casings. They're rustic and very economical.
Photo by: pelletsmoking.com

Fr. anjeu (the province of the dukedom of Anjou) or ancho (wide), Eng  tow or cheap linen cloth in which cooked squash is placed to drain off the liquid. Also it is used for encasing red blood-squash sausage, blood sausage, liverwurst, salami and bologna. Further, it was used as a bag for spices and other ingredients when boiling foods. It was imported to Spain from France or Flanders. The name could be derived from Anjou where it originated or it came from the Spanish word ancho as it was the widest of all fabrics. [Covarrubias. 1998:120; Pers. Memories. Slaughters Mostoles. 2000:2001:2003; Nola/Iranzo. 1982:167; and Serradilla. 1993:139]

Spice Muslin Bag
Photo by;  Denni Schnapp
for 4-6 persons

Nola’s ingredients:
3 ½ lb chicken or a leg of lamb
a linen rag tied up containing:
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp saffron threads

My additions:
2 carrots cut in fourths
1 celery stalk cut in fourths
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into quarters
1 peeled and garlic clove

add to the linen rag:
1 bunch of parsley stems
3 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf

for garnish: 1 tbsp chopped parsley leaves

Nola’s instructions:

Deplume, wash and prepare a chicken as if it was going to be roasted. Cut it into pieces. Break the bones for the marrow to come out. Put a cinnamon stick, whole cloves and saffron in a clean linen rag, tie it and put it in the pot. A little saffron, he claims, brings cheer. Cover the pot with a lid and seal it shut with dough and water and then tie a wet rag around the dough (or use a pressure cooker). Place the pot in the coals and surround the pot with coals up to the middle of the pot and put coals. Cook for three hours. When done remove the sachet and serve in soup bowls. Nola assures his readers that this will raise the dead. 

My adaption:
Quarter the chicken. (If mutton is preferred, chop the leg, including the bone an the meat, in four parts.) Chop the chicken bones in half and put the pieces in a 6 quart pressure cooker with the other ingredients. Cover with water and tightly close the pressure cooker.
Bring it to a boil and then gently boil for 20 minutes.
Remove the sachet. Strain the broth. Discard the skin and bones from the chicken and chop it with the onion, carrots and celery and put them back into the broth.  Serve in soup bowls and garnish with chopped parsley leaves.

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