‘Garden chicken’ from the Oeconomia

I know, I wanted to do more Kuchenmaistrey, but I stumbled across this today and I couldn’t let go. It is cabbage season anyway.

To cook a garden chicken (Gartenhun)

Take a nicely large, thick and hard cabbage head and cut off the leaves around it carefully. Lay these leaves into a pot and all around the sides so that it cannot burn. Hollow out the cabbage head inside and fill it like a chicken, with onions, bacon or butter, parsley, egg, and cream. Set it into the pot and place several whole leaves into the space above it. Set it into a baking oven or stove (in Backofen oder in eine Bratroer) and let it roast until it turns out done and nicely brown like a roast chicken.

Book III, p. 57

Stuffed cabbage heads are found in several German Renaissance recipebooks. This one is not exceptional except for the cooking technique – they are usually boiled, not baked.

Johann Coler’s Oeconomia ruralis et domestica was a popular book on the topic of managing a wealthy household. It is based largely on previous writings by Coler and first appeared between 1596 and 1601. Repeatedly reprinted for decades, it became one of the most influential early works of Hausväterliteratur. I am currently working from a 1645 edition.

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