Fowl for Christmas Dinner, in History and Today

Sharon Lathan

Sharon Lathan is the best-selling author of The Darcy Saga, a ten-volume sequel series to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.

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One Thanksgiving I sat down to a meal at a friend’s house. I thought we had roast beef and chicken. The “chicken” was very greasy and the “beef” was dry. Discovered that the “beef” was venison” and the “chicken” was possum.


One year we were given a goose for Christmas. It wasn’t simply a matter of putting it in the oven. It still had its feathers, head and feet. The one who gave it to us spent hours getting it ready to be roasted. I think he parboiled it first to get rid of a strong flavor or grease or something. It was tasty but too much work for the flavor.
One year were also had a small reh deer delivered to the door by the postman. The deer was frozen and came to us without wrappings or anything. Once again, I was happy to let others deal with the skinning and preparation for dinner. At that time I didn’t know I might want to know how they did it. Peacocks were often skinned and roasted and then put back into the skin which was then gilded. There is a book about such How to Cook a Peacock– I think is the title — by Jim Chevalier. Quite interesting if earlier than the regency.

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