I think perhaps it’s time to post a receipt (recipe). I mean, golly, this IS a blog about food, albeit one with an historical slant. In any case, here’s one that I enjoy and have done many times at the hearth. It’s from one of my favorite 18th Century cookbooks, The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, by a Lady (alias Hannah Glasse), which was first published in 1747, in London, England. Glasse’s work was highly popular at the time, in both her own country and ours. Eventually, new receipts using ingredients native to America were added (things like corn and squash), and a new edition “with modern Improvements” was published in 1805 in Alexandria, Virginia.
The receipt given below is fairly easy, and, if you don’t have a cooking hearth or an outdoor firepit, it’s quite adaptable to modern kitchens. It works well, too, if you substitute boneless, skinless chicken for whole pieces. In fact, that’s what I did out at Wyckoff last month when this dish was prepared; it was a major hit! Occasionally, I also baste each piece during cooking with an herb, lemon, & butter sauce. Try it on the grill for that great “open-fire” taste!
To Broil Chickens*
Sllit them down the Back, and season them
with Pepper and Salt,lay them on a very clear Fire,
and at a great Distance; let the Inside lie next the Fire
till it is above Half done, then turn them, and take great
Care the fleshy Side don’t burn, throw some fine Raspings
of Bread over it, and let them be of a fine Brown, but not burnt.
*copied as originally written, misspellings and all Raspings: grated bread or bread crumbs