Recipes > Meat > Chicken > Boiled Chicken > Boiled Fowls or Chickens

Boiled Fowls or Chickens

Choosing and Trussing

In choosing fowls for boiling, it should be borne in mind that those that are not black-legged are generally much whiter when dressed. Pick, draw, singe, wash, and truss them in the following manner, without the livers in the wings; and, in drawing, be careful not to break the gall-bladder: Cut off the neck, leaving sufficient skin to skewer back. Cut the feet off to the first joint, tuck the stumps into a slit made on each side of the belly, twist the wings over the back of the fowl, and secure the top of the leg and the bottom of the wing together by running a skewer through them and the body. The other side must be done in the same manner. Should the fowl be very large and old, draw the sinews of the legs before tucking them in. Make a slit in the apron of the fowl, large enough to admit the parson's nose, and tie a string on the tops of the legs to keep them in their proper place.


When, they are firmly trussed, put them into a stewpan with plenty of hot water; bring it to boil, and carefully remove all the scum as it rises. Simmer very gently until the fowl is tender, and bear in mind that the slower it boils, the plumper and whiter will the fowl be. Many cooks wrap them in a floured cloth to preserve the colour, and to prevent the scum from clinging to them; in this case, a few slices of lemon should be placed on the breasts; over these a sheet of buttered paper, and then the cloth; cooking them in this manner renders the flesh very white. Boiled ham, bacon, boiled tongue, or pickled pork, are the usual accompaniments to boiled fowls, and they may be served with Béchamel, white sauce, parsley and butter, oyster, lemon, liver, celery, or mushroom sauce. A little should be poured over the fowls, after the skewers are removed, and the remainder sent in a tureen to table.

Time: Large fowl, 1 hour; moderate-sized one, 3/4 hour; chicken, from 20 minutes to 1/2 hour.

Sufficient for 7 or 8 persons.

Seasonable all the year, but scarce in early spring.


Print recipe/article only


The Book of Household Management (1861).

comments powered by Disqus