A Boke of Gode Cookery Presents

Gelyne in dubbatte

PERIOD: England, 15th century | SOURCE: England, 15th century | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: Roasted chicken in wine-broth


.xlj. Gelyne in dubbatte. Take an Henne, and rost hure almoste y-now, an choppe hyre in fayre pecys, an caste her on a potte; an caste þer-to Freysshe broþe, & half Wyne, Clowes, Maces, Pepir, Canelle, an stepe it with þe Same broþe, fayre brede & Vynegre: an whan it is y-now, serue it forth.

- Austin, Thomas. Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books. Harleian MS. 279 & Harl. MS. 4016, with extracts from Ashmole MS. 1429, Laud MS. 553, & Douce MS 55. London: for The Early English Text Society by N. Trübner & Co., 1888.


Hen in wine-broth. Take a hen, and roast her almost enough, and chop her in fair pieces, and cast her in a pot; and cast thereto Fresh broth, & half Wine, Cloves, Maces, Pepper, Cinnamon, and steep it with the Same broth, fair bread & Vinegar: and when it is enough, serve it forth.

Gelyne - from French Gelin, hen.
dubatte - a rough translation would be "broth of wine." The word is probably a corruption of the French Jus bâtard. Bâtard refers to Bastard, a sweet Spanish wine.
half Wyne - slightly or only half fermented wine.


  • 1 chicken, roasted and in pieces
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups sour grape juice or mild red wine
  • ½ tsp. each of cloves, mace, pepper, and cinnamon
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • ½ tsp. vinegar
Bring 2 cups of the broth, the juice, and the spices to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. In a separate pot, bring the remaining broth to a boil. Add bread crumbs and vinegar, stirring well until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and add to the broth and juice, stirring until well blended. (A food processor or blender provides the best result.) Pour over chicken pieces in a pot or casserole dish and bake in a 375° F oven for 45 minutes. Serves 4 -6.

The addition of the extra broth, bread, and vinegar seemed a bit confusing to me at first, but after making the sauce according to the period receipt, I found that the medieval recipe actually makes a great deal of sense. The bread crumbs, broth, and vinegar mixture not only thickens the broth but also makes an excellent binding agent for the cinnamon, which does not need to be strained out as is specified in many other period sauces containing "canelle."

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Gelyne in dubbatte © 2000 James L. Matterer

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