Gilles Binchois, Je ne vis oncques la pareille
The Orlando Consort
This album would certainly please Hannibal, not just because of the music, but also because a medieval recipe is paired with each song. Here’s the one that goes with “Je ne vis oncques la pareille” :
This song is known to have been sung at the ‘Feast of the Pheasant’ in 1453 and one must imagine that pheasant would have featured on the menu. This recipe is based on one to be found in ‘Le recueil de Riom’, a collection compiled at least in part by M. Chavillat in 1466. A bottle of good Burgundian red wine would form the perfect accompaniment to this dish.
Pheasant cooked in Red Wine with Spices and Parsley
2 Prepared Pheasants
1 Head of celery
8 Large carrots
1 head of garlic
250g (10oz) Parsley
1 Bottle red wine
1 Lt. (2 pints) Chicken stock
1 Bay leaf
Peel and prepare all vegetables, leaving them whole. Pan fry all the vegetables until golden brown
Seal the pheasants and place in a large saucepan or braising dish. Add the vegetables, the red wine, all the herbs and spices, and the parsley stalks
Pour the chicken stock over so the pheasants are completely covered in liquid. (A glass of port could be added for extra flavour)
Cover with a lid and place in a warm oven, braise for an hour and a half or until the pheasant is completely cooked
Remove from the oven, cut the pheasant into portions, chop the vegetables in half, and reduce the red wine cooking liquor by half.
To serve, place the vegetables in the bottom of a dish, arrange the pheasant on top
Pass the cooking liquor and pour a little over the pheasant. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and serve immediately.