First singe, by holding the bird over a blazing paper. It is best to do this over the open stove, when all the particles of burnt paper will fall into the fire.
Next open the vent and draw out the internal organs, if this has not been done at the butcher's. Be careful not to break the gall bladder. Wash quickly in one water. If there are large black pin-feathers, take out what you can with the point of a knife, (it is impossible to get out all). Cut the oil bag from the tail. Be sure that you have taken out every part of the wind-pipe, the lights and crop. Turn the skin back, and cut the neck quite short. Fill the crop with dressing, and put some in the body also. With a short skewer, fasten the legs together at the joint where the feet were cut off. Be careful, in cutting off the feet of game or poultry, to cut in the joint. If you cut above, the ligaments that hold the flesh and bones together will be severed, and in cooking, the meat will shrink, leaving a bare, unsightly bone. Besides, you will have nothing to hold the skewer, if the ligaments are cut off.
Run the skewer into the bone of the tail, and tie firmly with a long piece of twine. Now take a longer skewer, and run through the two wings, fastening them firmly to the sides of the bird. With another short skewer, fasten the skin of the neck on to the back-bone. Place the bird on its breast, and draw the strings, with which the legs were tied, around the skewers in the wings and neck; pass them across the back three times, and tie very tightly. By following these directions, you will have the bird in good shape, and all the strings on the back, so that you will avoid breaking the handsome crust that always forms on properly basted and roasted poultry.
When cooked, first cut the strings, then draw out the skewers. The fat that comes from the vent and the gizzard of chickens, should be tried out immediately and put away for shortening and frying. That of geese, turkeys and ducks is of too strong a flavor to be nice in cookery.
Cut the gall-bag from the lobe of the liver, cutting a little of the liver with it, so as not to cut into the bag. Press the heart between the finger and thumb, to extract all the blood. With a sharp knife, cut lightly around the gizzard, and draw off the outer coat, leaving the lining coat whole. If you cannot do that (and it does require practice), cut in two, and after removing the filling, take out the lining. When the poultry is to be boiled, and is stuffed, the vent must be sewed with mending cotton or soft twine. Unless the bird is full of dressing, this will not be necessary in roasting.