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While I wait patiently for some items to come from leeners.com, we’re going to skip ahead a few pages and maybe a century or so to Apicius’ time. According to our text, De Re Coquinaria is “the earliest cookbook in the strict sense of recipes.” Apicius was a Roman culinarian, gourmand and all-around banquet thrower, so it makes sense we would move from the banquet of the learned to banquets of the learned who actually wrote recipes down so people could follow them. The recipe I am attempting to re-create/modify is called In Pullo Elixo ius Crudum. Translated as “Boiled Chicken in rough sauce”, but Aresty calls it “Apician Dilled Chicken.” Other recipes from the cookbook can be found here.

A footnote in Book I of a translation I found posted by Bill Thayer from a publication of De Re Coquinaria by Walter M. Hill, states, “This [section] illustrates how sparingly the ancients used the strong and pungent laser flavor [by some believed to be asa foetida] because it was very expensive, but principally because the Roman cooks worked economically and knew how to treat spices and flavor judiciously.” Book 6 finds our short recipe:

235 Raw Sauce for Boiled Chicken
In pullo elixo ius crudum

Put in the mortar dill seed, dry mint, laser root, moisten with vinegar, fig wine, broth, a little mustard, oil and reduced must, and serve.Known as dill chicken.

Clearly, the original recipe offered ingredients, but no exact quantities. (I’m glad someone used to write recipes like I currently do…) But in this case, I will give you my even-more modernized version–with exact quantities.

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