How to Make a Cooked Bird Sing, c. 1450

manuscript illustration of cooks at long table, one brandishing enormous knife Luttrell Psalter, BL Add. MS 42130, f. 207v

To make that Chicken Sing when it is dead and roasted, whether on the spit or in the platter. Take the neck of your chicken and bind it at one end and fill it with quicksilver and ground sulphur, filling until it is roughly half full; then bind the other end, but not too tightly. When you want it to sing, [heat] your neck or chicken. When it is quite hot, and when the mixture heats up, the air that is trying to escape will make the chicken’s sound. The same can be done with a gosling, with a piglet and with any other birds. And if it doesn’t cry loudly enough, tie the two ends more tightly.

The Vivendier (trans. Terence Scully)

From the same geniuses who brought you the live bird entrée: this sequel recipe will provide a soundtrack for your feast! Plus, what’s a holiday without some toxic mercury-based stuffing?