Peacock anyone?

Fifteenth Century French illustration

Clearly this is a medieval festive food and only for the incredibly important diner. Essentially the bird was baked or even turned into a pie. Then the tail would be reattached – on occasion the whole skin with feathers would be saved and the cooked bird reinserted – it was a statement meal but records suggest it wasn’t always very edible ( Adamson – Food in Medieval Times). And quite frankly draping an uncooked skin over a baked meat sounds like an invitation to the worst kind of food poisoning.

If you’d care for more detail please see the following fifteenth century recipe:

Adamson, Melitta. (2004) Food in Medieval Times.

2 thoughts on “Peacock anyone?

  1. How odd.

    I had never heard of this practice until about a week ago when it was mentioned in some cookery programme I was watching on the BBC iPlayer. Don’t ask me which one, it might have been the Hairy Bikers.

    Whoever it was only mentioned reattaching the feathers so I assumed the skin was cooked as per a turkey and the feathers stuck back into the flesh some way but draping the raw skin on a cooked bird sounds like listeria on a plate (more probably a silver platter) to me. Interesting post.

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