Last year I tried a new chicken dish that worked pretty well, and a few weeks back at Faire in the Grove I decided to make it as part of my Viking cooking demo (plus feed the extended household lunch) with excellent results. The two biggest additions were a little bacon, and some cumin, and both really made it from something good into something super good.
I used cast iron again, because I don’t have a potter vessel that will hold that much chicken. I chopped up some bacon and fried it in the pot, then used the bacon fat to brown the chicken. I used a mix of drumsticks and thighs this time. Once they were browned I added some salt and cumin seed, plus a bunch of watercress, and a container of baby arugula. When the chicken was well cooked and falling off the bone, I threw in a pint of full-fat sour cream. Once it was all warm we dished it up on flatbread. The cumin, in particular, really made it this time. Also, the sour cream rather than the piima I used last year gave it a less runny texture.
I sent some over to my wife, and within minutes half the fighters we know were coming by saying “I heard you had some really great chicken I should try”.
I’ll definitely be doing this one again, and have a few more changes I’d like to try. I think dandelion greens, nettles, or lambs quarters (if I can get some) would be great instead of or in addition to the arugula. More greens more better. I’d also use boneless chicken, since the whole pieces made it both a little greasy (I didn’t remove the skins until they were browned) and hard to navigate on flatbread. The advantage to the whole pieces, OTOH, is that they are cheap. I think the addition of some mustard or horseradish would be good too. Wild mushrooms of some sort could also be good. We don’t have any archeological evidence of mushrooms, since they don’t really leave much in the say of stuff in the ground, but I think it’s reasonable to suppose they were eaten. YMMV.