Chicken a' Padua
Redaction by THL Dagonell Collingwood

Bartolomeo Scappi was the personal cook to Pope Pius V in the 1570's.
This recipe is from his notebooks and can be found in "Renaissance 
Recipes" by Gillian Riley.

1 free-range chicken or capon
4 oz. pancetta
4 oz. prunes
4 oz. dried fruit
1 inch cinnamon stick, ground
half a nutmeg, ground
1/2 inch dried ginger, ground
fresh ginger, chopped fine
garlic to taste
1/4 teaspoon saffron soaked in hot water
2 glasses good dry white wine
1 glass verjuice
orange peel

Stuffing:
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts and almonds
1/2 cup chopped herbs, parsley, marjoram, rosemary
1/2 teaspoon of above spice mixture
1 egg
lemon juice to taste
lemon peel
1/2 cup grated cheese, parmesan or mild cheddar
salt and pepper and garlic if you like

Substitutions: Pancetta is fried, salted pork lard.  I used bacon strips.  
I buy most of my spices pre-ground. :D  I buy my saffron at Pennsic at the 
Pepperer's Guild shop.  It's *real* saffron and I buy it by the thread.  It's
hand-picked from the flower stamen and it's expensive.  It would be 
overpowered in a dish with this many other ingredients in it so I used a 
pinch of tumeric instead.  It's cheaper.  Verjuice is sour grape juice.  
While I have had the stuff on hand before, I didn't this time, so I used the 
juice of the oranges I was getting the rind from.  My breadcrumbs were 
leftover dinner rolls.  I wanted to use them up before they went stale.
I didn't have any almonds on hand, so I simply used walnuts.  
I didn't have any marjoram, so I used oregano.  They're from the same family.   
The only grated cheese I had was a Romano-Parmesan mixture.   Good enough.

My wife and I prefer to "eat clean" as much as possible.  Having a large
chest freezer is a big help towards this.  We have half a dozen frozen
free-range chickens in it.  I brought one out the previous afternoon and
let it thaw inside the slow-cooker where the cats couldn't get at it.  :)

I mixed a 1/2 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, ground ginger and ground
nutmeg together and set it aside.  Into a small bowl, I chopped up a half
cup of fresh parsley and added a little bit of chopped fresh oregano and 
rosemary fresh off the twig.  In a large bowl I shredded three dinner rolls
and then added the herbs and a half teaspoon of the spice mixture.  I juiced
half a lemon, grated most of its peel and added them to the mixture along
with one fresh egg.  We get our eggs from the farmer down the road.  I 
added half a cup of shredded romano/parmesan cheese and a pinch of fresh
garlic.  I skipped the salt and pepper.  Set the bowl aside.

The chicken was washed, patted dry and the gizzards fed to the cats. :)  I had
made just enough stuffing to stuff the bird completely.  I placed it in the
slow roaster and laid bacon strips across its back, covering it.  I started
the roaster and set it for six hours.  In a large bowl, I poured two cups of
wine and the juice from two oranges, fresh squeezed.  I grated the peel of 
half an orange into the mixture.  Since I hadn't washed off the grater, some
lemon peel was added as well.  This was intentional.  I dumped in the remains
of the spice mixture, a large pinch of fresh garlic, a large pinch of
fresh ginger, and a small pinch of tumeric.  I added 8 oz. of dried prunes,
8 oz. of dried fruit and let the fruit soak in the mixture for fifteen 
minutes before pouring everything into the slow-roaster over the chicken.

That evening, I took it the shire's potluck right in the slow-roaster.  I
used the 'simmer' setting to keep the dish warm.  I took home nothing but the 
roaster itself, the shire ate everything but the bones! :)  This is possibly
one of the most popular dishes I've ever served.