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Another Mode of Boning a Turkey or Fowl

Miss Acton's Recipe


Cut through the skin down the centre of the back, and raise the flesh carefully on either side with the point of a sharp knife, until the sockets of the wings and thighs are reached. Till a little practice has been gained, it will perhaps be bettor to bone these joints before proceeding further; but after they are once detached from it, the whole of the body may easily be separated from the flesh and taken out entire: only the neck-bones and merrythought will then remain to be removed. The bird thus prepared may either be restored to its original form, by filling the legs and wings with forcemeat, and the body with the livers of two or three fowls, mixed with alternate layers of parboiled tongue freed from the rind, fine sausage-meat, or veal forcemeat, or thin slices of the nicest bacon, or aught else of good flavour, which will give a marbled appearance to the fowl when it is carved; and then be sewn up and trussed as usual; or the legs and wings may be drawn inside the body, and the bird being first flattened on a table, may be covered with sausage-meat, and the various other ingredients we have named, so placed that it shall be of equal thickness in every part; then tightly rolled, bound firmly together with a fillet of broad tape, wrapped in a thin pudding-cloth, closely tied at both ends, and dressed as follows:

Put it into a braising-pan, stewpan, or thick iron saucepan, bright in the inside, and fitted as nearly as may be to its size; add all the chicken-bones, a bunch of sweet herbs, two carrots, two bay-leaves, a large blade of mace, twenty-four white peppercorns, and any trimmings or bones of undressed veal which may be at hand; cover the whole with good veal broth, add salt, if needed, and stew it very softly, from an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half; let it cool in the liquor in which it was stewed; and after it is lifted out, boil down the gravy to a jelly and strain it; let it become cold, clear off the fat, and serve it cut into large dice or roughed, and laid round the fowl, which is to be served cold. If restored to its form, instead of being rolled, it must be stewed gently for an hour, and may then be sent to table hot, covered with mushroom, or any other good sauce that may be preferred; or it may be left until the following day, and served garnished with the jelly, which should be firm, and very clear and well-flavoured: the liquor in which a calf's foot has been boiled down, added to the broth, will give it the necessary degree of consistence.

To Bone Fowls For Fricassees, Curries, & Pies

First carve them entirely into joints, then remove the bones, beginning with the legs and wings, at the head of the largest bone; hold this with the fingers, and work the knife as directed in the recipe above. The remainder of the birds is too easily done to require any instructions.


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The Book of Household Management (1861).

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