A Boke of Gode Cookery Presents

Schyconys with the Bruesse

PERIOD: England, 15th century | SOURCE: Harleian MS. 279 | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: Chicken stewed with beef


.Cxliiij. Schyconys with the bruesse. Take halfe a dosyn Chykonys, & putte hem in-to a potte; þen putte þer-to a gode gobet of freysshe Beef, & lat hem boyle wyl; putte þer-to Percely, Sawge leuys, Saurey, noyt to smal hakkyd; putte þer-to Safroun y-now; þen kytte þin Brewes, & skalde hem with þe same broþe; Salt it wyl.

- 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.


Stewed Chicken. Take one half dozen chickens, & put them into a pot; then add a good piece of fresh beef, and let them boil well; add parsley, sage leaves, savory, not too small chopped; add saffron; then cut toast into pieces, & scald them with the broth; salt it well.


  • 1 chicken, in pieces
  • 2 lbs beef roast, cut in large pieces
  • 1 tbs. parsley
  • 1 tsp. each sage & savory
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • pinch saffron (or few drops yellow/orange food coloring)
  • 4 pieces of toasted bread, cut in thin strips or triangles
Cover chicken & beef with water in a large pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, stir in spices, and allow to slowly cook until the chicken is tender. Place the bread pieces on serving platter; pour a little of the broth over the bread, then place chicken pieces on top.

Saffron, the stigmas of a certain type of crocus, was used extensively in Medieval cooking primarily for coloring, and was prized for the shade of orangish-yellow it imparted to food. Saffron today is very expensive, and since in small amounts it adds no discernible flavor in cooking, a yellow or orange food dye is a financially-wise substitute.

Metric, Celsius, & Gas Mark Equivalencies

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Schyconys with the Bruesse © 2000 James L. Matterer

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