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A Dish for a Poet

Seasons Greetings,

The followings is “A Dish for a Poet” which is read aloud at our house this time each year, and never fails to amuse:

Take a large olive, stone it and then stuff it with a paste made of anchovy, capers and oil.

Put the olive inside a trussed and boned becfigue.

Put the becfigue inside a fat ortolan.

Put the ortolan inside a boned lark.

Put the stuffed lark inside a boned thrush.

Put the thrush inside a fat quail.

Put the quail, wrapped in vine leaves, inside a boned lapwing.

Put the lapwing inside a boned golden plover.

Put the plover inside a fat, boned, red-legged partridge.

Put the partridge inside a young, boned, and well-hung woodcock.

Put the woodcock, rolled in bread crumbs, inside a boned teal.

Put the teal inside a boned guinea-fowl.

Put the guinea-fowl, well-larded, inside a young and boned tame duck.

Put the duck inside a boned and fat fowl.

Put the fowl inside a well-hung pheasant.

Put the pheasant inside a boned and fat wild goose.

Put the goose inside a fine turkey.

Put the turkey inside a boned bustard.

Having arranged your roast after this fashion, place it in a large saucepan with onions stuffed with cloves, carrots, small squares of ham, celery, mignonette, several strips of bacon, well-seasoned, pepper, salt, spice, coriander seeds, and two cloves of garlic.

Seal the saucepan hermetically by closing it with pastry. Then put it for ten hours over a gentle fire, and arrange it so that the heat can penetrate evenly. An oven moderately heated will suit better than the hearth.

Before serving, remove the pastry, put the roast on a hot dish after having removed the grease–if there is any–and serve.

– Traditional, c. 1814

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