This recipe comes from a manor house near Guildford in Surrey. It was written down in the early nineteenth century with a note that it was “very old” and had been made in that household every summer for several centuries.
The kitchen garden had small, violet-red Peregrine peaches fan-trained on its walls and these were used for this dish. Serve with green beans and rice.
Put the peach halves, cut sides up, in a flat, fireproof dish. Sprinkle with the sugar and nutmeg and pour over the wine. Leave standing for a few minutes.
Rub the chickens all over with seasoned flour. Lay
Put the chickens in a baking tin with half the butter cut into small pieces.
Meanwhile, sauté the mushroom caps in the rest of the butter. Heat the stock and keep warm.
Dish the chickens on to a large flat platter. Arrange the peach halves round them. Pour the wine and peach juice into the stock. Place a mushroom in the hollow of each peach. Keep hot.
Pour off the butter from the pan in which the chickens have been roasted. Stir the cream into the pan juices. Stir hard for 30 seconds and then slowly pour in the stock and wine mixture. Stir again and add a very little salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour over the chickens and serve at once.
©1980 The Estate of Elizabeth Ayrton