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Roast Fowls


Fowls to be tender should be killed a couple of days before they are dressed; when the feathers come out easily, then let them be picked and cooked. In drawing them, be careful not to break the gall-bag, as, wherever it touches, it would impart a very bitter taste; the liver and gizzard should also be preserved. Truss them in the following manner: After having carefully picked them, cut off the head, and skewer the skin of the neck down over the back. Cut off the claws; dip the legs in boiling water, and scrape them; turn the pinions under, run a skewer through them and the middle of the legs, which should be passed through the body to the pinion and leg on the other side, one skewer securing the limbs on both sides. The liver and gizzard should be placed in the wings, the liver on one side and the gizzard on the other. Tie the legs together by passing a trussing-needle, threaded with twine, through the backbone, and secure it on the other side. If trussed like a capon, the legs are placed more apart. When firmly trussed, singe them all over; put them down to a bright clear fire, paper the breasts with a sheet of buttered paper, and keep the fowls well basted. Roast them for 3/4 hour, more or less, according to the size, and 10 minutes before serving, remove the paper, dredge the fowls with a little fine flour, put a piece of butter into the basting-ladle, and as it melts, baste the fowls with it; when nicely frothed and of a rich colour, serve with good brown gravy, a little of which should be poured over the fowls, and a tureen of well-made bread sauce. Mushroom, oyster, or egg sauce are very suitable accompaniments to roast fowl: Chicken is roasted in the same manner.

Time: A very large fowl, quite 1 hour, medium-sized one 3/4 hour, chicken 1/2 hour, or rather longer.

Sufficient for 6 or 7 persons.

Seasonable all the year, but scarce in early spring.


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The Book of Household Management (1861).

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