Now that we have all recovered from our annual overdose of exceptionally dry meat, we can start planning for next Thanksgiving. Like in all matters, the past offers outstanding ideas. When it comes to food, can you do worse than 15th century royal courts? Certainly the answer is no for the pro-gout partisans among us. And if you like your meats combined and sewn together, it always wins. Take the cockentrice.
Turkeys were American so we have to make some adjustments since they weren’t in Europe in the 15th century. Here’s the recipe with a capon.
Cockentrice – take a capon, scald it, drain it clean, then cut it in half at the waist; take a pig, scald it, drain it as the capon, and also cut it in half at the at the waist; take needle and thread and sew the front part of the capon to the back part of the pig; and the front part of the pig to the back part of the capon, and then stuff it as you would stuff a pig; put it on a spit, and roast it: and when it is done, gild it on the outside with egg yolks, ginger, saffron, and parsley juice; and then serve it forth for a royal meat.
No reason we can’t do this with a turkey. As the linked article notes, you can also sew the turkey head to the back of the pig if this pleases your fancy. It’s just the early-modern version of the turducken and we all know how excited we became as a nation when John Madden discovered that. Maybe we can bring him back for one last go around on the air with the cockentrice.
In any case, surely this will be a crowd-pleaser to your family. You can thank me later.