Chicken Fritters

I was going to skip posting today, but then I came across this recipe in Philippine Welser’s recipe book:

119 If you want to fry chicken fritters

Take meat of chickens or capons that has been boiled beforehand. Chop it small and add grated bread, and stir it with eggs. Take about half as much breadcrumbs as you have chicken meat. Salt it lightly and lay it in(to the fat) with a spoon. Fry them nicely slow, and lay them in round, big or small, as you prefer them.

It is not exactly a chicken nugget – its use of cooked meat and raw egg is closer to the way traditional Fischfrikadellen are made in northern Germany – but it is not too far off the mark either. Combined with something like a cheese krapfen and a spicy sweet sauce, these are surely the ultimate low-threshold food for picky eater or young children first engaging with flavours of the past.

Philippine Welser (1527-1580), a member of the prominent and extremely wealthy Welser banking family of Augsburg, was a famous beauty of her day. Scandalously, she secretly married Archduke Ferdinand II of Habsburg in 1557 and followed him first to Bohemia, then to Tyrol. A number of manuscripts are associated with her, most famously a collection of medicinal recipes and one of mainly culinary ones. The recipe collection, addressed as her Kochbuch in German, was most likely produced around 1550 when she was a young woman in Augsburg. It may have been made at the request of her mother and was written by an experienced scribe. Some later additions, though, are in Philippine Welser’s own hand, suggesting she used it.

The manuscript is currently held in the library of Ambras Castle near Innsbruck as PA 1473 and was edited by Gerold Hayer as Das Kochbuch der Philippine Welser (Innsbruck 1983).

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