Possum (1941 New American Cookbook)

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By Susan Feliciano
from Oak Ridge, TN

I finally found it! A published, authentic recipe for cooking possum. My father and his 8 siblings ate possum growing up in the Great Depression. I also have friends from here in Appalachian Tennessee who ate possum as late as the 1960's and 70's. So I will post this recipe just for the sake of historical knowledge. You can let me know if anyone still eats it. Question: I'm not sure why the head and tail are left on, but perhaps so the diners know it is a possum, and not some malformed pig or fowl?

serves 4
prep time 1 Hr 15 Min
cook time 1 Hr 30 Min
method Roast


  • 1
    young possum, 2-3 pounds
  • salt and pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • lg
    kettle of very hot water
  • roasting pan with tight-fitting lid or heavy tinfoil

How To Make

  • 1
    Plunge animal into very hot but not boiling water 2 minutes. Pull out or scrape off hair without damaging skin. Slit belly from throat to hind legs. Remove entrails, feet, eyes, and brains. Do not remove head or tail. Wash thoroughly. If possible, freeze for 3 or 4 days.
  • 2
    When ready to cook, wipe with a cold, damp cloth. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put in roasting pan. Add 1 cup water and juice of 1 lemon. Bake in hot oven (400°F) for 15 minutes, turning once. Cover. Reduce heat and bake in moderate oven (350°F) for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.

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