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To Bone a Turkey or Fowl Without Opening It

Miss Acton's Recipe.


After the fowl has been drawn and singed, wipe it inside and out with a clean cloth, but do not wash it. Take off the head, cut through the skin all round the first joint of the legs, and pull them from the fowl, to draw out the large tendons. Raise the flesh first from the lower part of the backbone, and a little also from the end of the breastbone, if necessary; work the knife gradually to the socket of the thigh; with the point of the knife detach the joint from it, take the end of the bone firmly in the fingers, and cut the flesh clean from it down to the next joint, round which pass the point of the knife carefully, and when the skin is loosened from it in every part, cut round the next bone, keeping; the edge of the knife close to it, until the whole of the leg is done. Remove the bones of the other leg in the same manner; then detach the flesh from the back and breast-bone sufficiently to enable you to reach the upper joints of the wings; proceed with these as with the legs, but be especially careful not to pierce the skin of the second joint: it is usual to leave the pinions unboned, in order to give more easily its natural form to the fowl when it is dressed. The merrythought and neck-bones may now easily be cut away, the back-and side-bones taken out without being divided, and the breastbone separated carefully from the flesh (which, as the work progresses, must be turned back from the bones upon the fowl, until it is completely inside out). After the one remaining bone is removed, draw the wings and legs back to their proper form, and turn the fowl right side outwards.

A turkey is boned exactly in the same manner; but as it requires a very large proportion of forcemeat to fill it entirely, the logs and wings are sometimes drawn into the body, to diminish the expense of this. If very securely trussed, and sewn, the bird may be either boiled, or stewed in rich gravy, as well as roasted, after being boned and forced; but it must be most gently cooled, or it may burst.


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The Book of Household Management (1861).

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