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De Limonia

door Jehan op 27 oktober 2021

Lemony chicken


From Liber de coquina (14th or 15th c.)

Ad limoniam faciendam, suffrigantur pulli cum lardo et cepis. Et amigdale mundate terantur, distemperentur cum brodio carnis et colentur. Que coquantur cum dictis pullis et speciebus. Et si non habentur amigdale, spissetur brodium cum uitellis ouorum. Et si fuerit prope horam scutellandi, pone ibi succem limonum uel limiarum uel citrangulorum.

To make limonia, fry chickens with fat and onions. And crush some skinned almonds, moisten with meat broth, and strain. Cook with the chickens and spices. If you have no almonds, thicken the broth with egg yolks. When the time to serve nears, add the juice of lemons, limes, or bitter oranges.


  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 75 grams blanched almonds
  • 0,5 litre beef broth (from cubes)
  • cooking oil (for braising the chicken and onions)
  • 2 onions
  • 1-2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1-2 tsp ground pepper
  • a few pinches of salt
  • (optional) saffron

Grind the almonds finely in a food processor. Get the (hot) beef stock (I used cubes) and add it to it. Let it stand for about 10 minutes, then strain out the almond pulp, getting as much of the liquid (almond milk) out as possible.

Peel and chop the onions finely.

Bake the chicken and the onions in the oil until they are mostly done and lightly browned.

Add salt and spices.

Add the almond milk and bring to the boil. Let it simmer on a low heat for 30 to 40 minutes.

Once the chicken is done, taste to see if it needs some more spices.

Add the lemon juice and bring to the boil

For the event:

The version we made for the event was made with almond paste, to minimize risk of almond contamination. We also used chicken broth left over from the Friday meal instead of beef broth.

When doing our trial run (with a small amount of sauce and chicken), using almond paste led to a very nice thick pasty sauce. However, with the huge pan with 120 chicken drumsticks and hot liquid to cover them, this didn’t work: the almond paste separated (with the oil from the paste forming a layer on top), and the big pan made it impossible to stir without breaking apart the drumsticks. And (on top of that) the chicken drumsticks got so well cooked they started to fall off the bones, making stirring even harder. The end result was still good, though the lemony taste got a bit lost and it looked quite different than we’d hoped for.

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