Sauce for Fat Capon:
Save the fat of the capon and the liver also, and strain through a sieve with beef broth, and add a little ginger and verjuice, and boil in a frying pan all together, and bind with egg yolks beaten then a generous amount of sugar and the wings and thighs of the capon, and pour your sauce underneath. (Taillevant, pp. 134)
1 C chicken fat 1 chicken liver 1 C beef broth
1 tsp ginger 1 tsp verjuice 1 egg yolk
1 Tbs sugar
Note: Verjuice is a type of sour grape juice in period that requires substituting by using lemon juice or vinegar with a touch of sugar instead.
After assembling all the ingredients,
I did a minor cheat. Instead of straining the liver through a sieve, put the liver through the cuisnart
for a very fine paste which is what the sieve would have done. For the purists, use a strainer for those who don’t have a strainer or know what to do with one use a cuisinart.
This was for both time saving and the fact I do not own a sieve.
If you will look at the ingredients real quick (yes I know I used can beef broth…that will be remedied in another post!) the bowl with the congealed fat is chicken fat saved from a previously roasted chicken dinner. You’ll want to use both the yellow stuff on top and the jelly stuff on the bottom. Remember nothing was wasted in period! In period the cook would have had a pan underneath a roasting hen or capon (neutered boy chicken) and whipped up this lovely little sauce in about 2 minutes. Today we can actually save the fat for such wonderful dishes such as this as we need.
Next I separated the egg white from the egg yolk using the egg shell and set this to the side.
The fat and beef broth were then combined into pot set on low.
You can see where the fat is still a bit chilled here. Not to worry it will all melt into a mouth watering smoothness in a moment.
The egg yolk was then added along with the liver, ginger and sugar.
I put the egg on a large bit of fat so as not to cook the egg yolk before I had a chance to stir it into the sauce.
The mixture was then stirred till combined and the fat melted.
Since I did not have verjuice I used a bit of balsamic wine vinegar. I know it’s NOT verjuice, but wine turns to vinegar overnight or at least in a month if conditions are right…and period wise wine vinegar was a very common thing. Also Balsamic vinegar is readily available to most cooks while verjuice if available is only in some cities in some specialty stores, so…balsamic vinegar it is.
Then turn the heat on medium till the mixture bubbles slightly. After the sauce has boiled for 2 minutes, turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
The resulting sauce is complex, rich and very smooth. This is well worth the effort! You can dredge freshly roasted chicken through this or home made bread and your mouth will thank you. No really it will!