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I want to make a historically accurate biblical meal for a group. I'm using chicken, and serving it with flatbread and an Israeli salad (sans tomatoes and other new world vegetables)

Does anyone have a recipe for a historical barbecue chicken or an idea of what sorts of spices were used back then?

edit: Just thought I'd let you guys know

I marinated the chicken in a mixture of rosemary, thyme, oregano, toasted sesame, garlic, salt and a bit of mint/pepper overnight. Then put them on skewers. Maybe not 100% authentic, but tasty.

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Which biblical era are you interested in? –  Eli Lansey Apr 17 '12 at 22:23
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The real question - how rich were the people of the time you're trying to imitate? –  rfusca Apr 18 '12 at 0:55
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"historical barbecue chicken" sounds like an oxymoron. –  rumtscho Apr 18 '12 at 7:44
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Take the chicken to the temple, Burn the fatty portions on the altar, and eat the rest. –  Chris Cudmore Apr 25 '12 at 20:21

2 Answers 2

McCormick Science Institute: History of Spices:

Papyri from Ancient Egypt in 1555 BC classified coriander, fennel, juniper, cumin, garlic and thyme as health promoting spices (3). Records from that time also note that laborers who constructed the Great Pyramid of Cheops consumed onion and garlic as a means to promote health.

The Spice Encyclopedia at Spice Advice appears to give history/origing for a large selection of spices.

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Thanks, that spice encyclopedia looks good. I know that spices were super expensive back then, but I want just a reasonable approximation. A real style meal would proabbly have all the meat boiled, which is not...good. –  Daniel Chui Apr 18 '12 at 22:15

Chicken, heat, oil, salt, honey if you feel a need for sweetness. Spices were rare and expensive in biblical times, with even black pepper being used a commodity for gifts between nations.

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Perhaps authentic but not much fun. Surely lemon would have been common as well as mediterranean herbs such as rosemary or oregano. –  Sobachatina Apr 17 '12 at 22:02

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