This May Be The Reason Swans Aren't Commonly Eaten

Poultry is a major part of our culinary landscape. We often eat chicken, duck, and turkey. Less common but still highly regarded poultry meats include pheasant and quail. But where is the majestic swan on the menu? According to The Takeout, it's far from the fact that swan tastes bad. Quite the opposite. Back in the Middle Ages, the swan was considered a delicacy. You could find them served up, in the middle of the table, at royal banquets and shindigs. In other words, swan meat wasn't a poor man's meal. But it wasn't until 1482 that the restriction on swan meat was made official.

Edward IV of the House of York went ahead and made all English swan business legally off-limits for anyone who wasn't a proper landowner. With the Act of Swans, it was established not only that you couldn't have a swan if you weren't sitting on some land but if it was found that you had one, one-half of it would go to whoever found it, and the other half to the King, per The Takeout. As time passed and the British established colonies in the New World, the lack of swan cuisine continued. Likely, people were just so used to not eating swan for legal reasons that the idea was formed over time that swan was just a yuck version of a duck, and therefore stopped being consumed on the whole.

But it's not illegal anymore...

Swan may not be considered the popular fare it was for English nobility, but a delicacy it is nonetheless. And according to Nevada Foodies, swan meat makes for some pretty delicious cutlets. If you're able to find some swan breast, the rest is kitchen 101. Slice the bright red poultry into half-inch cutlets, just the way you would with chicken. Tenderize them until they're nice and flat, about half the size they were when you cut them. Then, cover them in flour. From there, you're going to want to dip them in egg, then a copious amount of breadcrumbs. Next comes the frying.

In a large skillet, you fry each side of the cutlets until they're completely golden, which should take about one minute for each side. From there, you put them all in a large baking dish, cover them in foil and place it in the oven at 325 degrees F. Forty-five minutes is the correct amount of time for a particularly tender piece of swan meat. Lastly, do a ceremonial nose-thumbing at Edward IV of York before digging in.