Pullus Tractogalatus

Chicken in Cream Sauce with Pasta

Original Recipe (in Latin)

"PULLUS TRACTOGALATUS: PULLUM COQUES LIQUAMINE, OLEO, VINO, CUI MITTIS FASCICULUM CORIANDRI, CEPAM. DEINDE, CUM COCTUS FUERIT, LEVABIS EUM DE IURE SUO ET MITTIS IN CACCABUM NOVUM LAC ET SALEM MODICUM, MEL ET AQUAE MINIMUM. [ID EST TERTIAM PARTEM.] PONIS AD IGNEM LENTUM UT TEPESCAT, TRACTUM CONFRINGIS ET MITTIS PAULATIM, ASSIDUE AGITAS, NE URATUR. PULLUM ILLIC MITTIS INTEGRUM VEL CARPTUM VERSABIS IN LANCEM, PERFUNDIS IUS TALE: PIPER, LIGUSTICUM, ORIGANUM, SUFFUNDIS MEL ET DEGRITUM MODICUM, ET IUS DE SUO SIBI, TEMPERAS. IN CACCABULO FACIES UT BULLIAT. CUM BULLIERIT, AMULO OBLIGAS ET INFERES."

Translation by Flower and Rosenbaum:

"Chicken with Milk and Pastry Sauce. Braise the chicken in liquamen, oil, and wine, to which you add a bouquet of fresh coriander and onions. Then when done, lift it from its stock and put into a new saucepan milk and a little salt, honey, and very little water. Set by a slow fire to warm, crumble pastry, and add gradually, stirring continually to prevent burning. Put in the chicken whole or in pieces, turn out on a serving dish, and pour over the following sauce: pepper, lovage, oregano, add honey and a little defrutum and cooking liquor. Mix well. Bring to the boil in a saucepan. When it boils thicken with cornflour and serve."

Translation by Vehling:

"Cook the chicken [as follows, in] broth, oil, with win added, to which add a bunch of coriander and [green] onions. When done take it out [strain and save] the broth, and put it in a new saucepan, add milk and a little salt, honey and a pint of water, that is, a third part: place it back on a slow fire to simmer. Finally break [the paste] put it little by little into [the boiling broth] stirring well so it will not bum. Put the chicken in, either whole or in pieces dish it out in a deep dish. This cover with the following sauce: pepper, lovage, oregano, moistened with honey and a little reduced must. Add some of the [chicken] broth, heat in a small sauce pan and when it boils thicken with roux and serve."

My Interpretation:

1 whole fryer 1 Tbsp. liquamen (or 1 tsp salt)*(see Liquamen - Fish Sauce)
¼ cup olive oil ½ cup white wine
1 bunch coriander 1 medium onion
1 cup light cream or whole milk 2 Tbsp. honey
¼ tsp. pepper ¼ tsp. lovage
¼ tsp. oregano 2 Tbsp. wheat or corn starch
½ cup butter 1 lb. cooked pasta

In stock pot place chicken with bouquet of coriander & onion quartered, with wine, liquamen (or salt) and oil. Cook over medium low heat until the chicken is fully cooked. Remove chicken and strain remaining broth. Add the cream (or milk) and honey to the broth and bring to a simmer. Add pepper, lovage, oregano, and wheat starch to the broth, stirring until thickened.  Add chicken, cut up into pieces, heat until warm. Serve over cooked pasta.

*Although the liquamen does provide a flavor profile to this dish, salt can be used instead.

Notes:

A rough translation of "TRACTUM CONFRINGIS ET MITTIS PAULATIM" is "LONG PIECE OF DOUGH to break and sends this LITTLE BY LITTLE". An alternate interpretation of this recipe could be similar to "Chicken & Dumplings".

Works Referenced:

The Roman Cookery Book translated by Barbara Flowers and Elisabeth Rosenbaum, Peter Nevill Limited, 1958.
- A translation of the recipes of Apicius

Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome, edited and translated by Joseph Dommers Vehling, Dover, 1936.
- A translation of the recipes of Apicius