The recipe of the Dodine Sauce is one of the most ancient in the history of French cooking. We are first given it in Le Grand Cuisinier de toute cuisine, which dates from about the year 1350, and there are many recipes for it in other fourteenth- and fifteenth-century cookery books. I wish I could give you the recipe as it stands in these fascinating old books, but even those of you who understand French might be a little puzzled at the quaint wording. So I must be content with giving you a modernised version, in plain English.


A plump duckling, jointed in 8 pieces, 1 large onion, 1/2 a lb. of mushrooms, 1 bay leaf, a sprig of thyme and one of parsley, a clove of garlic, 1 liqueur glass of brandy, 1/2 a bottle of claret, salad oil, salt and pepper.


Put the pieces of duck in an earthenware vessel and let them stand for several hours, covered with the wine and brandy and the sliced onion. Season highly with salt and pepper. Now put 5 or 6 tablespoons of salad oil in an earthenware casserole, and when hot, put in the pieces of duck and cook till well browned. Then add the marinade of wine and onions, the mixed herbs, a clove of garlic, and the mushrooms, cut in several pieces. Simmer very gently for about 1 1/2 hours. Serve in the casserole in which they were cooked.