Maison du Poulet Noir
House Flaming Chicken
also known as Chez Poulet Flambe
or Maison du Poulet Noir
How do households form? By accident. Or maybe accretion is a better word. We cooked a few feasts with family and friends. Then we had a storage tub full of aprons and such. It needed a label. And we needed a Facebook group to coordinate rides and practices. Next thing you know, it was a Household.
Fieldless, a roasting spit sable bendwise, over all a roast chicken sable enflamed
This is a very silly device, if you are a heraldry buff. First off, a roast chicken is an absurd charge. If not for a late-period Italian family named de Rostis, whose arms had meat on a spit, there's no way the persnickety SCA heralds would pass it.
Second, a black chicken with gouts of flame is reminiscent of the Hand of Glory, a symbol from dark magic that is banned from SCA use. We sometimes refer to ours as the Chicken of Glory.
We have been trying to get this device approved for over 4 years. Heraldry in the SCA is a long game.
- Authentic food made delicious and accessible. Here in the 21st Century, nearly every ancient cookbook has been transcribed and translated. Some we own; others we read online. We cook as much as possible from the original books. There is a pernicious myth in the SCA that people will not eat authentic food. In our experience this is nonsense. People will line up for authentic food if it's yummy. We have a saying: If it's not delicious, you're doing it wrong. After all, these are recipes fit for a king, and were written and copied at tremendous expense. They must have been worth it.
- Dietary restrictions. Many of our household members and friends have dietary restrictions, so we are very sensitive to that. We cook everything from scratch, and balance the menus so that the vegetarians and gluten-free and dairy-free diners all have plenty to eat.
- Fun. We run a happy kitchen, where drop-ins are always welcome. No yelling allowed.
We wear 14th Century style hoods with a flame pattern. They look best over black. A charred chicken on fire is our household badge. At evening court at one event, the King called for all newcomers to come forward. One of our young friends went up to the dais, wearing a borrowed Flaming Chicken outfit. "It's only her first event," complained the King, "and you've already got your heraldry all over her!"
We don't cook in our best garb. Many of us have washable black poplin robes that don't show stains. Where do you get a lot of long black gowns that button up the front? It would take forever just to make the button holes. Charles had an idea: Go to eBay and buy a box of used altar-boy cassocks. Then fit them to each person at the side seams, cutting away the boxy shape to be more fitted. They still have a Roman collar, but the hood covers it. Problem solved!
We normally make a flame hood for people who have spent the day cooking with us more than once. We are working on belt favors for first-timers and drop-ins. Everybody is welcome!
Feasts We Ran
We rotate positions in our kitchen. Someone might be head chef (director) one time, line cook (grip) another time, and sous chef (talent) yet another time. We are particularly proud of letting young cooks take leadership roles. Charles usually ends up being the kitchen manager (producer) because he has the credit card and trailer.
Buckston's Birthday 2015, 100 seats, Sigrid Mondegreen head chef.
Buckston's Birthday 2016, 100 seats, Charles (the) Fleming head chef.
Buckston's Birthday 2017, 100 seats, Katherine Todd head chef.
Atlantian Kingdom 12th Night, 200 seats, Sigrid Mondegreen head chef.
Another Foolish Event, 2019, day board for up to 100, Charles (the) Fleming head chef.
Mists of Atlantia - Green Knight, 2020, 60 seats, Charles (the) Fleming head chef. Postponed because of COVID-19.
Hawkwood's Baronial Birthday, 2020, 120 seats, Charles (the) Fleming head chef. Postponed because of COVID-19.
Cooks to the Rescue
The Flaming Chickens are also known for stepping in when other feasts need help. When other cooks fire off a distress flare, we can usually send two or three of our members to help out.