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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

AZUCENA WITH RECIPE FOR FRIED CHICKEN BREAST WITH LILY BUDS

There is a lily in the hand of the Archangel Gabriel at the Annunciation.
fPhoto from: ragrantica.com
OCast çuçena, açuçena, Hisp Ar  sussâna, L Lilium candidum, Eng Madonna lily (named as such in the 19th C). It should not be confused with the Easter lily, which is of Japanese origin while the Madonna lily is a native of the Mediterranean. The highly fragrant flowers bloom in June and July. It is one of the oldest known lilies to mankind. The legion is that the Madonna lily sprang from Eve’s tears when expelled from the Garden of Eden. Ancient Greeks and Romans made crowns for brides with them as a symbol of fertility. Vases made between 1750-1600 B.C. have been found on the Island of Crete with pictures of this lily drawn on them. Some claim that the crusaders took it to England but in the 7th C a Benedictine English monk declared that the lily should be a symbol of innocence and chastity and a symbol of the resurrection of the Virgin. The golden anthers represent “her soul glowing in heavenly light” and the petals symbolize her purity. Paintings of the Annunciation symbolically portray the Archangel Gabriel with a branch of lilies in his hand. The cooked bulb has been like the  used to thicken soups. Dried flower petals have been added to soups for flavor. Lilies taste somewhat like potatoes. It appears that during the Middle Ages the plant was used principally for its oil and to flavor wine. Laguna does state that the juice extracted from the roots is good for counteracting poison and yeast infections. Pliny recommended them boiled in oil or grease and applying them on the head to make hair grow back and to relieve burns. The bulb is a diuretic, antitussive, febrifuge, carminative, pectoral, expectorant, sedative and tonic. Decoctions have been made to relieve edema, coughs and haematemesis due to deficiency conditions, anxiety, apprehension and difficulties in urinating. See aceite de azucena, lirio and vino de azucena. [Benavides-Barajas. Nueva-Clásica. 1995:51; ES: Bolton. Jan 14, 12; and ES: Font. Plantas. 1999: 640:893-894]

FRIED CHICKEN BREASTS WITH LILY BUDS FROM THE MEDIEVAL SPANISH CHEF'S ARCHIVES


Azucenas
Photo by: nirene
Ingredients

4 tbsp Byzantine murri (see almorí, published August 25, 2011)
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp sherry
½ tsp salt
½ c virgin olive oil
4 chicken breasts
12 lily buds which have not been sprayed
1 c sliced mushrooms
1 c water

Preparation

Combine the murri, sugar, sherry and salt. Heat a skillet with ¼ c oil. Cover the chicken with the sauce and put it in the skillet. When browned remove it. Add the rest of the oil the lily buds and the mushrooms. When the mushrooms start to turn color return the chicken to the pan. Add the water and cover. Simmer until the chicken is tender.

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