Notes from Windward: #67
Inviting a Peacock to Dinner
Alison describes the process
June 11, 2007:
We formally invited a peacock to dinner last night. They'd been on the guest list for a few weeks, from the time they made clear their interest in assaulting the communal garden. The ladies had been out for the weekend in egg laying season; we had to wait until they returned.
The first drafts of the invites had been written up and revised several times to make sure there would be no confusion on time, date and place and purpose: for one and all to feast. Fortunately for them there was room for only one peacock last night. The process is simple enough and will be well worth the effort for critter control and a tasty family dinner.
An invitation is sent: crouch or bend low to the ground with a pail of bird feed in hand. With out looking directly at her see that she is looking in your general direction. Take a small handful of the bird feed and throw it up into the air. She will see the feed and come slowly to the sprinkling. Lure her towards the large enclosure she will be held by continuing to throw up the feed and make a trail to the spot. Note: The enclosure must have a roof, she will fly.
The arrival: Once she is trapped in the enclosure grab a bag with a hole punched out in the bottom for her neck to stick through. Join her. The objective is to trap the bird. To do this, you need to get personal, shake hands with the bird. Take a tight, firm grip, she will be more than excited to meet your acquaintance. She?s as good as family.
Give her a hug!: get a good grip on her wings and work her body into the bag, head first, and then head should be maneuvered into the hole made for her comfort and our convenience.
Cocktails and conversation: See that she is relaxed and try to get her to relax a bit. Hang the bag from a tree branch and with a knife make a cut in peacock's neck. Thereby, start the night off with a bang and a drink of red wine. She will remain perfectly relaxed the remainder of the night, now is the time to take her apart and find out what she's really made of.
Things start to get a bit more intimate. Start on the surface with large feathers. Pluck what beautiful feathers you desire to keep for later use. The bright blue neck feathers are particularly attractive. Don't worry about the remaining feathers; they will be stripped away as the skinning process begins. By this point, the wine has gone to our heads and we get personal. Flip her over on her back and start cutting from the anus up to the neck. Slowly cut at the skin to separate it from the meat. Uncover as much skin as is needed to access the meat. Next, dig deep and cut out both legs and the breast meat. Take the pieces and rinse any feathers off.
Becca whips up a tasty dish of Peacock Pilau
Cooking dinner: We got started a bit late; no matter we're all relaxed and enjoying company. We had an extra bed for her to use for the night. Cook the flesh overnight in a crock pot. In the morning add spices and vegetables of your choice. By noon you'll be ready for the feast. Enjoy.
Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 67