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Friday, November 1, 2013

CUERVO WITH RECIPE FOR FIVE AND TWENTY BLACK BIRDS

Common Raven Wingtip Pair Formation
Photo by: kdee64
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 the next post. It does have a shiny coat. Today, it is more abundant in Andalusia and Estremadura 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. Cocina. 2002:189; Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:54; and Jutglar. 1999:521]

RECIPE FOR FIVE AND TWENTY BLACKBIRD PIE ADAPTED FROM NOLA’S RECIPE xxxvii-3 A POTTAGE CALLED PORRIOLA, PORTAJE QUE SE DICE PORIOLA

For 4 persons

Ingredients

Raven Pie Filling
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1-2 onions (about ¼ lb)
½ c olive oil
2 chicken breasts (about ½ lb)[1]
½ tsp ground pepper
½  c sweet Port wine
¼ c vinegar
salt to taste
¼  c concentrated chicken broth

For the pastry
Pie dough

For baking: 1 egg

For decorating: powdered sugar and a small raven

For the presentation: an appropriate CD

Preparation

A Dainty Dish to Set before a King
Photo by: Lord-Williams
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 the onions in a frying pan with olive oil and slowly sauté them; when almost golden, drain off excess oil and save both separately.  Put the oil back into the frying pan. Do not add any more oil. Dice the chicken, discarding any bones, and season with ground pepper. Fry this. Then add other ingredients. Gently cook all until enough liquid has evaporated to the consistency of a moist a pie filling.

Prepare dough for a pie. Line a pie tin. Fill it with chickpeas or marbles to prevent the dough from rising and bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove the chickpeas and fill the pie tin with the chicken and onion mixture. Top the pie with pastry. Paint it with one egg beaten.

Bake 10-15 minutes until pastry is golden brown.  Remove from oven. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to look like snow. Unless a live raven is on hand, print out a black bird on the computer. Cut that out and stick it on top of the pie.

Play a CD with music for a dainty dish to be set before your king or queen. Do not forget to tell the guests that  the pie consists of five and twenty black birds!



[1] Unless 5 and 20 blackbirds are available.

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