Episode 674: We Cooked A Peacock
In the 17th century, a good spice rub was the ultimate display of wealth. Back then, people would risk their lives for a sack of cloves. Today on the show: We cook a peacock pie recipe published in 1612, in the Netherlands. We try to re-create the taste that changed the world. Also, we make claret, an after-dinner drink.
If you want to try the food and drink of seventeenth century spice barons, the recipes are below, translated from Dutch by Christianne Muusers.
Take a peacock that must be freshly killed so that he will be tender. Pluck it dry, cut off the wings, but leave on the head with the plume attached. Pull the entrails out. Then take a dry cloth and wipe it inside as well as possible, without using water. When most of the blood and blood clods have been removed, sprinkle it on the inside with some pepper, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. And to make it very tender, add some lard and some panicles of sweet fennel. Chop off the legs and stick the breast full wih cloves, the same with the thighs. Put it in pastry. First cover the pastry bottom with thin slices of lard, put the peacock on top with slices of lard over it and lots of spices, as described above. Keep the head sticking out and wrap paper around it against the heat. One can also cut off the head and, after the pie has been baked, put it on top, which is the most common nowadays.
Fine Yellow Claret
3/4 cup clear honey
1/5 cup water
16.5 grams cinnamon
10.5 grams ginger
6 grams grains of paradise
3 grams nutmeg
3 grams galangal
3 grams saffron, or less
1 gram black pepper
1 bottle (750 ml) dry white wine
Coffee filters (or fine cheese cloth or sack)
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