Sixteenth Century Orange Chicken

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This recipe was adapted by me from a housewife’s kitchen guide published in 1594! The sauce is slightly sweet, but very good.


  • 2 ½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast meat – cubed
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 2 oranges, peeled and segmented
  • 4 pitted prunes
  • 4 pitted dates
  • ½ cup dried currants
  • ½ teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon ground mace
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rose water
  • ¾ cup white wine


Place chicken stock in a large saucepan over high heat. Add oranges, prunes, dates, currants and cloves and boil until the fruit has broken down a bit, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Stir in peppercorns, mace, sugar, rose water and wine; reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes. Strain and set aside.

Brown chicken in a large skillet until lightly browned on both sides; add reserved sauce and cook together, turning and basting, until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Preparation time: –
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Servings: 4 – Yield: 4 servings



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