Photo by: Bryan Harder
OCast. cuerua, L. Corvus corax, Eng. raven. Although the largest of the crow family, it is difficult to distinguish it from the carrion crow, see below. It does have a shiny coat. Today, it is more abundant in Andalusia and Estremadura, Spain than its relative. Like it, this bird lives anywhere between the mountains and the coast. Its crook is more disagreeable than the carrion crow but can make musical sounds and sing variations for its mate. It is more likely that ravens were actually baked in Al-Andalus pies than the carrion crow, although its meat too was considered noxious. Avenzoar stated that crows are hot, dry and have irritable nature and generate a noxious chemical. He concluded that in spite of this they are eaten but if cooked well, they can be beneficial. See halcón. [Benavides-Barajas. Nueva-Clásica. 1995:199; Gázquez. 2002:189; Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:54; and Jutglar. 1999:521]
RECIPE FOR RAVEN PIE ADAPTED FROM NOLA’S RECIPE xxxvii-3 A POTTAGE CALLED PORRIOLA, PORTAJE QUE SE DICE PORIOLA
For 4 persons
1 whole chicken about 4 lbs
½ c olive oil
1 c sweet white wine
¼ c vinegar
salt to taste
1 c chicken broth
Chop the onions with a knife and cover them with water and a little salt.
Let sit ½ hr. Drain off water and wring the onions out by hand. Put this in a pan with olive oil and slowly suatee them; when almost golden, drain off excess oil and save. Add white wine and vinegar; let this cook together slowly. Cut the chicken into pieces and seasoned with ground pepper. Fry it in the oil saved from the onion. Then add this to the other ingredients. Gently cook all.
Prepare dough for a pie. Line a pie tin. Fill it with chickpeas and bake 15-20 minutes. Remove the chickpeas and fill the pie with the chicken and onions. Top the pie with pastry. Bake 15-20 minutes until pastry is golden brown.
Play a CD with music for a dish to be set before a king. Tell the guests the pie consists of five and twenty black birds!