These pies are in essence medieval coq au vin, grave of small birds, in single serving pie form.
Enseignements, D. Myers (trans.)
For a gravé of small birds – If you want to make a gravé of small birds, put the birds to cook in a pot all covered with crisped bacon, and add wine and water and pepper and ginger, and keep well covered that steam doesn’t escape that all will be cooked.
Du fait de cuisine, E. Cook (trans.)
19. And again a gravy of small birds and poultry: to give understanding to him who makes it, let him take about a thousand small birds and let these small birds be well plucked and carefully cleaned so that there remains neither feathers nor refuse; and take a hundred large poultry which are fair and clean, and let them be cut in half and cut into pieces, and one should make four pieces from each quarter, and wash them very well and cleanly with the small birds; and, being washed, put them to dry on fair, white, and clean boards. And take a great deal of lard and melt it in fair, large, and clean frying pans; and arrange that you have a fair and clean cauldron and put your small birds and poultry therein and strain your melted lard well and cleanly, then put it into the said cauldron over the said small birds and poultry. And take a great deal of bread according to the quantity of your meat and slice it into rounds and put it to roast on the grill until it is well browned; and have beef and mutton broth – and let it not be too salty – put in a fair and clean small cask, and put therein a great deal of clear wine; and when your bread is roasted put it to soak in the said cask of broth and clear wine. And take your spices: cinnamon, ginger, grains of paradise, pepper; minor spices: nutmeg, cloves, mace, galingale, and all spices – and let the said master be advised not to put to much in of anything, but have a temperate and sure hand in putting in that which it seems to him is necessary. And while he is straining his bread and his spices, let him have his meat sautéd over a fair clear fire; and let him have a man who stirs it constantly with a big slotted spoon so that it does not stick to the bottom and that it does not burn; and the said master in straining his bread and his spices should put while straining either a third or a half or what he has strained with his meat, so that the said meat will neither be spoiled nor burn, until he has strained all of it and put it into the said broth. And, being strained and set to boil, the said master should check and taste if it needs spices, vinegar, salt or something else and that it has too much of nothing; and do not wait until your meat is overcooked but draw it back over a few coals, at least until it is time to take it to the sideboard, and there, at the sideboard, it should be arranged in serving dishes well and properly.
7 lbs chicken thighs
1 lb bacon, diced
2 cups red wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp black pepper
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp grains of paradise
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp mace
¼ tsp galangal
One loaf of bread, crust removed and cubed
- Render bacon in a skillet, removing the bacon pieces when they are desired doneness. Set aside.
- Brown chicken thighs in remaining bacon grease.
- Place the browned chicken in a pot with the wine, stock, and spices.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until done. Approximately 20 minutes
- Remove chicken and discard skin and bones.
- Place bread in to the cooking liquid, when cool puree until smooth
- Chill bacon pieces, chicken, and gravy until ready to assemble
Once the chick and gravy are cool enough so that they don’t melt the pastry, it is time to assemble.
- Preheat oven to 400 F
- Cut the pastry into circles that will fit your muffin tins
- Grease the muffin tins, then place the circle of pastry in the muffin cup.
- Use your fingers got form the crusts in the muffin pan (push the dough so the pastry so some creeps over onto the side and onto the flat part of the pan)
- Once all the muffin cups have been filled with pastry, refrigerate at least 10 minutes
- Use the chill time to cut the top crusts, then chill.
- When ready to assemble, remove the muffin pan fullplace the shredded chicken in the crust, sprinkle some bacon, then add some gravy.
- Cut a vent hole in the center of the top pastry, then cover. Press the pastry together with wet fingers (Crimping will make it look nice)
- Remove from pan when cool
Place muffin tin into a 400 F oven for 15 minutes, then turn down to 350 F for another 15 minutes to complete baking
I used commercial refrigerated pie crust. There is lard in the crust, but since there was bacon in the filling, I figured it was not impactful and it save me time.
I used the food processor to puree the gravy, the period method would have been pushing it through a sieve.