This recipe is extracted from the 1430 book Liber Cure Cocorum (or “The Art of Cookery”), written in a northern English dialect of the 15th century and probably originating from the County of Lancashire.

The recipe’s original name is “Chickens in Cretoneé.”


  • Chicken
  • Milk
  • Flour or Amidon (Wheat Starch)
  • Galingale (Galangal Rhizome)
  • Ginger
  • Cinammon
  • Cumin
  • Saffron
  • Water
  • Sugar


Take cow’s milk, mix it anon
With flour, or else with amidon;
Season it with galingale and good ginger,
With cinnamon and cumin, all together,
Color it with saffron then;
The chickens by themselves then seethe thereto,
Hew them in quarters and lay them in,
Boil them up withal, no more nor less;
But season it with sugar sweet, 
And serve them forth for they are wholesome.

How to Make your own Amidon (Wheat Starch)

Take wheat and steep it 9 days;
Thus change your water each day anon.
Bruise it quite small in a mortar,
Seethe it with milk and water withal.
Through a hair sieve look you strain it,
And let it stand and settle by;
Pour out the water, in cloth it lay,
Till it is dry you turn it aye.
This is a thickening as men say,
Thereof I shall speak more plainly.

Galingale Overview

Overview: Galingale, or Galangal Rhizome

Known as Sweet Galingale because of the aromatic smell of its rhizome, it grows to about 80 cm tall and has its spikelets arranged in an umbel. At the base of this umbel is a long, narrow bract. Galingale grows at the edges of lakes and bodies of still water up to 15cm deep, as well as in bog gardens and damp borders.

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