Southern Cuisine: Baked Possum with Apples and Sweet Potatoes
Baked opposum is a popular soul food here in the South. I’ve never eaten possum, but my ex-husband liked it baked, with sweet potatoes and apples. The biggest problem with possums is that you don’t know what they’ve been eating when you kill one. They’re notorious scavengers, and you can often see them scurrying away from underneath a dead and rotting cow. So ideally, it’s best to trap your own possum alive and pen it up for a month. Feed it corn, and make sure it has plenty of clean water at all times.
When you’re ready to cook your possum, kill it as quickly and as humanely as possible. A shot through the head with a .22 rifle will accomplish this task nicely. Skin the possum, and remove the innards, the head, the feet, and the tail.
Rinse the possum several times in cool running water. Rub the outside and the inside cavity with salt and allow it to sit in the refrigerator for at least four hours.
Another problem with possums is their high fat content. If you’ll parboil the possum in salt water for about 20 minutes, some of the fat will float to the top. Also, this will help tenderize a larger possum. After this step, your possum is ready to bake.
Baked possum with sweet potatoes and apples
What you’ll need:
One cleaned, parboiled possum
Salt, black pepper, onion powder, and sage
5 tart pie apples
One can chicken broth
4-6 sweet potatoes, peeled
Pat possum dry with paper towels. Rub seasonings into the flesh and into the cavity.
Slice one of the apples into wedges and place inside the cavity.
Place the possum in a roaster with a lid and pour the chicken broth over the meat. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Remove possum from oven and drain off liquid. Place the taters and the remaining apples around the possum and bake, covered, for another hour. For the last fifteen minutes of cooking, remove the lid so the possum can brown.
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