Foodie Lit: Medieval Times & Chicken!

Foodie Lit: A genre of novel and memoirs filled with food stories and recipes



Each month, I’ll share the magic of a good Foodie Lit read and one of its recipes.

 Cooking and recipes in novels or memoirs take us into the mind of the character or narrator and brings us into the book’s kitchen to see, smell and share the lives within.

Here’s to cooking and reading together!



A Swarming of Bees


Theresa Tomlinson



A Swarming of Bees by Theresa Tomlinson is an absorbing murder mystery set in the 7th century Anglo-Saxon Northumbria , in what is now northern Yorkshire.

As Indie Food Blogger, I was asked to create a recipe from that time and place and that meant using only ingredients available.  Honey Chicken was a natural creation, as Fridgyth, the herb-wife and confident of the powerful Abbess Hild, keeps bees, an herb and vegetable garden and chickens!

Meats were the glory of medieval meals, especially for the royals and the wealthy.  The peasants had meat less frequently, their meals frequently  were a mixture of whole grains and vegetables such as cabbage, chard, onions and leeks, garlic and carrots.  Vegetables were looked upon with some distain by many of the upper classes, thinking them less prestigious!

Many of our food favorites today were not available during this era, such as potatoes, tomatoes, rice, peppers and corn.  Herbs and spices were generally harvested from what was grown or found wild.  Only the upper classes could afford what we can purchase easily on the supermarket spice shelf.

Salt was highly prized.  The word salary comes from the word for salt, as at times workers were paid in salt.  Because it was difficult to keep milk from spoiling, almond milk was often used in recipes- something we think so modern and healthy today!

Theresa Tomlinson drops us into the Angle-Saxon 7th century – its healing, its conflicts, its history and an absorbing murder mystery.

   Medieval Honeyed Chicken

Serves 4-5


Chicken, 1 whole or cut into pieces

salt and pepper to taste

Honey Sauce:

1/2 cup of honey

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons prepared mustard

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1.2 teaspoon pepper

  1. Mix together ingredients of Honey Sauce
  2. Bake, rotisserie or grill the chicken.  You can easily grill a whole chicken that has been spatchcocked (opened flat like a book)
  3. Brush chicken with sauce for last 10 minutes.  Chicken is done when the meat thermometer reaches 165 degrees.  The time depends on whether you have used a whole chicken (more medieval) or chicken pieces.
  4. Drizzle sauce on chicken before you serve.  Have sauce on the side for those who want more!
  5. Serve as a side dish sautéed leeks, chard and garlic seasoned with salt and pepper and topped with chopped parsley.
  6. Medieval drinks: Ale or wine (if you can afford it) or clean water (if you have a nice well or live near a stream!)
  7. For dessert, serve almond custard or fresh strawberries.
  8. Tip:  Recipe is also great for fish or on a salad.

Thanks to Theresa for making the recipe and supplying me with the yummy photo!

Susan is the indieBRAG Food Blogger –                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    follow her indieBRAG Food Blog

  1. Pirates Rum Cake – “What would stories about pirates be without a bit of rum?”
  2. Seafood Chowder: Civil War Recipe – “With or without seafood, this was sure to satisfy any soldier!”
  3. Eggplant Relish. Growing up Jewish in Alexandria: The story of a Sephardic Family’s Exodus from Egypt – “Recipes? There were no recipes, just cooking!”

Be sure to follow Susan at: everydayhappyfoods


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *