Honey Poppyseed Dormice

“The dishes for the first course included… some small iron frames shaped like bridges supporting dormice sprinkled with honey and poppy seed.” – Petronius, Trimalchio’s Feast

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Upper class ancient Roman kitchens were outfitted with special pottery homes, glirarium, for dormice (small rodents a bit bigger than a field mouse). They had little ledges and air holes to keep the critters happy. True to Roman life, this practice was both practical and luxurious: The dormice were fed kitchen scraps until properly fattened up, and then they made a lovely snack at the next banquet!

Sometimes they were stuffed with pork, but I prefer this honey & poppyseed delicacy.

Our “dormice” are sweet and crispy, with a slight crunch coming from the poppy seeds.  In short, they’re delicious, and I dare say Flavia would be pleased.  Much more than that, they’re seriously simple to make, allowing you to add a taste of ancient Rome to your dinner/party/classroom without the hassle of chopping herbs and grinding hard-to-find spices.

Ingredients

  • Chicken Thighs & Drumsticks
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Honey
  • Poppy Seeds
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  • Rinse the chicken and cut off all the nasty bits.  Leave the skin on if you want the ‘mice’ to be nice and crispy!  Once rinsed, pat the chicken dry.
  • Set the chicken onto an oiled/greased baking tray, and rub some of the olive oil into the skin. Season with salt and pepper and place into the oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes at 375 F / 190 C.
  • Just before the chicken is due to come out of the oven, gently heat some honey in a small pan, and sprinkle some poppy seeds out onto a plate. I find that the heat of the stove is usually enough – just set the pan on an (inactive) burner.
  • Roll the cooked chicken around in the honey and then the poppy seeds.  The hotter the chicken is, the thinner the honey coating will be. If you want a thicker, more decadent experience, when all the pieces have been coated, pour the remaining honey and poppy seeds over the top of the plated chicken.

Enjoy!

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About Sharon Rose, LAc, MSAOM

Acupuncturist, medical massage therapist, historian, scientist, road-tripper, geek, LARP & board gamer, food fan, Roman fanatic, belly-laugher.
This entry was posted in Recreating history, SCA specific and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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