Since we’ve tackled a roast peacock it makes sense to look at the roasted swan – which like the peacock would often be served in all it’s feathers along with a yellow pepper sauce and a side helping fo food poisoning as the skin, with the feathers attached wasn’t cooked. It appeared on the tables from medieval times and is listed in the accounts of Henry VIII’s and Elizabeth I’s feasts. They have, of course, been royal property since 1482.
Liber Cure Cocorum (or “The Art of Cookery” ) written in 1430 has a recipe for “Chaudron [Entrails] for wild ducks, swans, and pigs.” Please don’t try it at home given that bird flu is on the increase and all the swans belong to the Queen.
Take, wash the entrails of swans anon,
And scour the guts with salt each one;
Seethe all together and hew it small,
The flesh and also the guts withal;
Take galingale and good ginger
And cinnamon, and grind them all together;
And grated bread you take thereto,
And mix it up with broth also;
Color it with burned bread or with blood,
Season it with vinegar, a little for good;
Boil all together in a little pot;
In service you shall set it forth.
If you must eat swan then could I suggest a meringue swan?
Morrisons has even very handily provided a recipe which can be found here: https://groceries.morrisons.com/webshop/recipe/meringue-swans/54961
And meringue is very festive – but I’ll talk about subtleties in due course.