Peacocks are majestic creatures that are known for their vibrant feathers and the show that they can put on using them.
They are widely mentioned in human history and the reference to their beauty can also be found in ancient text. However, when it comes to meat consumption, peacocks are definitely not as widely consumed as other birds.
This is because not many people are aware of the fact that you can indeed eat peacock or are familiar with its taste.
The male bird is called “peacock” while the female bird is referred to as a “peahen”. Both these birds are edible but there are a few things to keep in mind.
Can you eat peacock? Yes, generally speaking, you can eat peacock and it is in fact a delicacy in many places around the world. However, only the blue peacock species are allowed to be slaughtered and eaten. Consumption of the green peacock species is not allowed as they are under strict protection.
Want to know if you can eat peacock eggs and the wonderful ways to prepare their meat? Read on below!
Peacocks are a bit harder to prepare due to their dense feathers. They have a tougher exterior and due to being a larger bird, they can also take some time to cook as well.
The meat itself tastes like turkey but you can mix lots of condiments to change the base flavor however you like.
Peacocks should only be slaughtered by professionals and their meat should be prepared by someone who has experience with peacock or large-bird meat.
The blue peacock species are grown as livestock and are often consumed all around the world.
There are 2 main types of peacocks:
- The Green Peacock
- The Blue Peacock
These peacocks can be found in different parts of the world; however, only the blue peacock is allowed to be legally consumed in many regions.
This is because the green peacock is considered a special species and it is protected under the law.
The meat only slightly varies in each of these species as many people claim that the base flavor always seems to taste like turkey with slight variations in the aftertaste. This makes the blue peacock more than ideal for mass consumption.
The raw de-feathered meat and carcass resemble that of a large turkey but due to its different skeletal form, you can easily tell apart both birds.
Peacock can be cooked in several ways and its meat can be used in stews, broths, fillets, and more.
Peacock meat is mostly lean and it also caramelizes extremely well on the exterior, giving it that shiny, crispy, and juicy skin.
You can also add this meat to brine and deep fry it as well. We’ll discuss a few popular ways to prepare this meat in a bit.
Peacock eggs are also edible and can be prepared just like normal chicken eggs—of course, they look nothing like chicken eggs!
Peacock eggs are larger than typical chicken eggs and can also have a pinkish hue. These eggs cook the same way as other types of eggs and can be used in a range of recipes too.
They taste more or less like chicken eggs except that they have a bit of a gamey bit to them.
These eggs are not commercially available because of how expensive they can be. A typical peacock egg can cost as much as $25 per egg and some eggs can even go as high as $100!
Furthermore, a peacock typically lays only about 20 eggs a year which makes them an unviable option for breakfast.
Nutritionally, these eggs offer a bit more than chicken eggs but they aren’t remarkable in how much daily value they provide when it comes to fat, carbs, and protein.
Peacock As Livestock
Peacocks can be kept at home as well, although they require a cage-less environment and prefer to roam around. These animals don’t respond well in small enclosures and are best kept on a farm.
Some people manage to keep these creatures in urban cities too by building specialized enclosures meant to mimic their natural habitat.
Peacocks eat insects, plants, and smaller animals. They can also be fed table scrap like chickens but are very picky when it comes to nutrition.
Just like chickens, feeding peacocks is not that too expensive since they can eat just about anything plant and fruit-related. Most families feed their animals leftover food like bread, orange peel, over-ripe fruit, and even plant stocks.
Even in the US, many people freely raise peacocks. For example, California is known for its multiple peacock meat dishes and the animal can also be found in kitchens around Europe as well.
These animals live harmoniously in groups and it is always recommended to keep them with other peacocks.
Where To Buy Peacock Meat And How To Store it
Peacock meat can be bought from select stores but you can most definitely get it online via exotic meat markets.
For example, in the USA, peacock meat can be bought from butcher shops in California. You can also source them from farms or other local farmers.
You can store peacock meat in the fridge for about 2-3 days at a temperature of 4°C.
If you want to store the meat for longer then we recommended cleaning it by running it over tap water and then drying the bird completely.
Do not let the bird dry over the counter. Be as quick as possible when dealing with raw meat to avoid bacterial growth or contamination. Once the bird is dry shift it to an air-tight container or keeps its pieces in a zip lock bag.
You can then store the meat in the freezer for about 1-2 months at a temperature of -18°C.
Please keep in mind that the temperature for storing this meat has to be precise and constant. Keep the meat away from the fridge door to avoid temperature variances.
Another reason to not keep a wet bird in the freezer would be to avoid freezer burn which will probably lessen the quality of the bird and its texture. If you are planning to buy the meat online then we recommend talking with the vendor.
The meat should be from a bird that was recently slaughtered and processed under state health regulations.
Also, the vendor has to make sure that the meat is thoroughly frozen throughout every stage of the delivery so that you get the freshest and safest meat possible.
If the meat arrives cold but not frozen then simply keep it in an airtight jar or the packaging it arrived in inside the freezer at -18°C.
Alternatively, you can also use the meat as soon as it arrives by thawing it in the microwave at the lowest setting.
Do not thaw peacock meat on the counter. When in doubt, just treat the meat as you would turkey or even chicken meat.
Peacock meat has a very rotten and pungent smell when it has gone bad. If you notice slime on the meat then it has most likely gone bad.
Cooked peacock meat can also be stored as you would store chicken or turkey. As a general rule of thumb, store the cooked meat in the fridge for about 2-3 days at 4°C and 1 month at -18°C.
As mentioned, always thaw cooked or raw peacock meat using a microwave or oven. Never let it thaw at room temperature.
Additionally, to save time, you may also quickly blanch the meat in boiling water to thaw and cook it—just remember to separate the pieces as they cook or they might stay stuck together.
Speaking of cooked peacock meat, let’s look at a few quick recipes:
Quick Peacock Recipes
For people who are on the fence about peacock meat, these recipes are surely going to change their minds.
Peacock meat, like chicken meat, consists of a neck, some wings, breasts, and legs.
Neck And Wings
The neck of the peacock is unique and unlike any other bird because of its length. The neck takes more time to thoroughly cook and render due to its thickness and tough exterior.
However, a quick boil in an open pot or a pressure cooker will easily cook it.
Peacock necks can be used in soups and can also be BBQed over a coal pit. For the soup, simply boil the neck and wings in a large pot with some onions, carrots, herbs, black peppercorns, celery, ginger, and garlic.
This recipe will make a delicious peacock neck and wing broth that you can use to make rice or other gravies.
Just add salt to the broth and you can drink it right from the cup! Also, to BBQ the neck and wings, sprinkle your favorite BBQ seasoning with a tenderizer of your choice and marinate overnight.
Put the meat through a skewer and BBQ it until it turns golden brown and has a delicious char.
The breast meat is the leanest part of the bird, and just like chicken, you can either bake the breast fillets in an oven or cook them over a griddle. This type of meat pairs well with vegetables and some delicious aromatic rice.
The breast pieces can also be brined and then cooked in the oven. You can then dice up the pieces and use them in subs and sandwiches.
The legs of the peacock contain the most flavor in our opinion. The thigh meat is juicy and has just the right chewiness to it. It can be used in stews and can also be paired with vegetables.
For example, a great way to enjoy peacock thigh meat is in a stew.
To make the stew you will need:
- 3-4 medium-sized onions (sliced)
- 0.5 tsp whole black peppercorn
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 tablespoon red chili powder
- 1.5 tablespoon ginger and garlic paste
- 1 tsp whole coriander seeds
- 2-3 whole round red chili
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
- 1 tsp whole black cardamom
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 2 tablespoons of yogurt
- A light sprinkle of sugar
Fry the onions in half a cup of oil and cook them until translucent then add in all the whole spices and cook for about 2 minutes.
Add the peacock thigh meat (cut in small pieces) and cook for 2-3 minutes on all sides. Then add the ginger and garlic and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes.
Now, add all the powdered spices, salt, diced tomato, and sprinkle a bit of sugar, and mix everything thoroughly.
Add 250-300ml of water and let the stew cook over medium-high heat. You will want to cook until the meat is tender and easy to break.
Once the meat is done, give the stew a good stir and simply reduce it until there is just a bit of water left in the pot. Add 2 tablespoons of yogurt and fry everything until it’s well incorporated and the oil separates.
Top the stew with some fresh cilantro and you’re done!
Enjoy this stew on its own or with some sour bread. This stew can also be paired with plain white rice or garlic rice for more flavor.
Peacock meat is truly an exotic meat for many people. It is available in many parts of the world and can also be found in the USA (California). This type of meat resembles turkey or chicken meat and can be used in similar ways too.
You can cook peacock meat in many ways and you may even cook the entire bird in the oven just like you would cook a turkey (including using the same spices).
While the blue peacock species are raised as livestock, the green peacock species is not be available for human consumption due to regulations.
You can find peacock meat either at farms or you may even find good vendors online. Just make sure that the meat arrives fresh and properly frozen and that you store it properly using our guide above.
This type of meat can be a bit gamey in flavor but it mostly resembles turkey so it wouldn’t be an acquired taste for many people.
If you haven’t tried peacock but are inclined or open to new experiences then we highly suggest that you try this type of meat at a restaurant before bringing it home.
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