1950s Recipes + Menus

Roast Young Peacock

The Way We Cooked: Vintage Gourmet

December 1951

Q. Have you a recipe for preparing peacock?

Mr. Wayne W. Jarvis
Santa Cruz, California

A. Peacock can be cooked very like turkey, except that it tends to be dry-fleshed and requires frequent basting with butter. Don't know where you got your peacock, but every time we see one of those fine-feathered fellows strutting around the local zoo, we can't help thinking how handsome he would look on a silver serving platter!

Roast Young Peacock

Slinge, draw, and stuff a peacock with forcemeat. Truss it for roasting and roast it in a moderate oven (350° F.) for about 20 minutes per pound, or until well browned and tender, basting very frequently with melted butter. Serve hot with pan gravy or cold with chopped jelly and cold sauce poivrade.

To make the forcemeat, soak 1 pound of bread crumbs in milk and press out the moisture. Combine it with 1 pound of chopped beef marrow, the peacock liver, finely chopped, 10 shallots or 1 onion, chopped and stewed in butter until tender, 1 tablespoon each chopped green celery leaf and parsley, and a little sage, marjoram, and thyme. Season with cayenne, nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste.

Sauce Poivrade

To 6 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan, add 1 carrot and 1 onion, both diced, and cook until they are golden-brown. Add 1/2 cup flour, mix together, and cook until the flour turns golden-brown. Add 3 cups brown stock or double-strength beef consommé and 1 cup tomato purée, mix well with a whip, and cook, stirring until well blended. Add 3 or 4 sprigs of parsley, 1 bay leaf, and a little thyme. If any bones of the game are available, brown them well in the oven and add them. Cook for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally and skimming as needed.

Put 1/2 cup vinegar and 6 peppercorns, crushed, in a pan and cook until the liquid is reduced to about one third the original quantity. Strain the sauce into the reduced vinegar mixture and cook all together for about 30 minutes, skimming carefully as the fat rises. Add 1/2 cup red wine to finish the sauce.

This exclusive recipe is pulled directly from Gourmet's archive. It has not been re-tested by our food editors since it was published in the magazine, but it's a pretty good indication of the kinds of things we once cooked—and ate—with great pleasure.

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