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IN CHOOSING poultry, select those that are fresh and fat, and the surest way to determine whether they are young is to try the skin under the leg or wing. If it is easily broken, it is young; or, turn the wing backwards, if the joint yields readily, it is tender. When poultry is young the skin is thin and tender, the legs smooth, the feet moist and limber, and the eyes full and bright. The body should be thick and the breast fat. Old turkeys have long hairs, and the flesh is purplish where it shows under the skin on the legs and back. About March they deteriorate in quality.
Young ducks and geese are plump, with light, semi-transparent fat, soft breast bone, tender flesh, leg joints which will break by the weight of the bird, fresh-colored and brittle beaks, and windpipes that break when pressed between the thumb and forefinger. They are best in fall and winter.
Young pigeons have light red flesh upon the breast, and full, fresh-colored legs; when the legs are thin and the breast very dark the birds are old.
Fine game birds are always heavy for their size; the flesh of the breast is firm and plump and the skin clear; and if a few feathers be plucked from the inside of the leg and around the vent, the flesh of freshly-killed birds will be fat and fresh-colored; if it is dark and discolored, the game has been hung a long time. The wings of good ducks, geese, pheasants and woodcock are tender to the touch; the tips of the long wing feathers of partridges are pointed in young birds and round in old ones. Quail, snipe and small birds should have full, tender breasts. Poultry should never be cooked until six or eight hours after it has been killed, but it should be picked and drawn as soon as possible. Plunge it in a pot of scalding hot water; then pluck oft' the feathers, taking care not to tear the skin; when it is picked clean, roll up a piece of white paper, set fire to it and singe off all the hairs. The head, neck and feet should be cut off, and the ends of the legs skewered to the body, and a string tied tightly around the body. When roasting a chicken or small fowl there is danger of the legs browning or becoming too hard to be eaten. To avoid this, take strips of cloth, dip them into a little melted lard, or even just rub them over with lard, and wind them around the legs. Remove them in time to allow the legs to brown delicately.
Fowls, and also various kinds of game, when bought at our city markets, require a more thorough cleansing than those sold in country places, where as a general thing the meat is wholly dressed. In large cities they lay for some length of time with the intestines undrawn, until the flavor of them diffuses itself all through the meat, rendering it distasteful. In this case, it is safe, after taking out the intestines, to rinse out in several waters, and in next to the last water, add a teaspoonful of baking soda, say to a quart of water. This process neutralizes all sourness, and helps to destroy all unpleasant taste in the meat.
Poultry may be baked so that its wings and legs are soft and tender, by being placed in a deep roasting pan with close cover, thereby retaining the aroma and essences by absorption while confined. These pans are a recent innovation, and are made double with a small opening in the top for giving vent to the accumulation of steam and gases when required. Roast meats of any kind can also be cooked in the same manner, and it is a great improvement on the old plan.
SELECT a young turkey; remove all the feathers carefully, singe it over a burning newspaper on the top of the stove; then "draw" it nicely, being very careful not to break any of the internal organs; remove the crop carefully; cut off the head, and tie the neck close to the body by drawing the skin over it. Now rinse the inside of the turkey out with several waters, and in the next to the last, mix a teaspoonful of baking soda; oftentimes the inside of a fowl is very sour, especially if it is not freshly killed. Soda, being cleansing, acts as a corrective, and destroys that unpleasant taste which we frequently experience in the dressing when fowls have been killed for some time. Now, after washing, wipe the turkey dry, inside and out, with a clean cloth, rub the inside with some salt, then stuff the breast and body with "Dressing for Fowls." Then sew up the turkey with a strong thread, tie the legs and wings to the body, rub it over with a little soft butter, sprinkle over some salt and pepper, dredge with a little flour; place it in a dripping-pan, pour in a cup of boiling water, and set in the oven. Baste the turkey often, turning it around occasionally so that every part will be uniformly baked. When pierced with a fork and the liquid runs out perfectly clear, the bird is done. If any part is likely to scorch, pin over it a piece of buttered white paper. A fifteen pound turkey requires between three and four hours to bake. Serve with cranberry sauce.
Gravy for Turkey. — When you put the turkey in to roast, put the neck, heart, liver and gizzard into a stewpan with a pint of water; boil until they become quite tender; take them out of the water, chop the heart and gizzard, mash the liver and throw away the neck; return the chopped heart, gizzard and liver to. the liquor in which they were stewed; set it to one side, and when the turkey is done it should be added to the gravy that dripped from the turkey, having first skimmed off. the fat from the surface of the dripping pan; set it all over the fire, boil three minutes and thicken with flour. It will not need brown flour to color the gravy. The garnishes for turkey or chicken are fried oysters, thin slices of ham, slices of lemon, fried sausages, or force meat balls, also parsley.
OR STUFFING FOR FOWLS.
FOR an eight or ten pound turkey, cut the brown crust from slices or pieces of stale bread until you have as much as the inside of a pound loaf; put it into a suitable dish and pour tepid water (not warm, for that makes it heavy) over it; let it stand one minute, as it soaks very quickly. Now take up a handful at a time and squeeze it hard and dry with both hands, placing it, as you go along, in another dish; this process makes it very light. When all is pressed dry, toss it all up lightly through your fingers; now add pepper, salt — about a teaspoonful — also a teaspoonful of powdered summer savory, the same amount of sage, or the green herb minced fine; add half a cup of melted butter, and a beaten egg, or not. Work thoroughly all together, and it is ready for dressing either fowls, fish or meats. A little chopped sausage in turkey dressing is considered by some an improvement, when well incorporated with the other ingredients.
For geese and ducks the stuffing may be made the same as for turkey, with the addition of a few slices of onion chopped fine.
DRESSING OR STUFFING.
THIS is made with the same ingredients as the above, with the exception of half a can of oysters drained and slightly chopped and added to the rest. This is used mostly with boiled turkey and chicken, and the remainder of the can of oysters used to make an oyster sauce to be poured over the turkey when served; served generally in a separate dish, to be dipped out as a person desires.
These recipes were obtained from an old colored cook, who was famous for his fine dressing for fowls, fish and meats, and his advice was, always soak stale bread in cold liquid, either milk or water, when used for stuffings or for puddings, as they were much lighter. Hot liquid makes them heavy.
PREPARE as you would for baking or roasting; fill with an oyster stuffing, made as the above. Tie the legs and wings close to the body, place in salted boiling water with the breast downward; skim it often and boil about two hours, but not till the skin breaks. Serve with oyster or celery sauce. Boil a nicely pickled piece of salt pork, and serve at table a thin slice to each plate. Some prefer bacon or ham instead of pork.
Some roll the turkey in a cloth dipped in flour. If the liquor is to be used afterwards for soup, the cloth imparts an unpleasant flavor. The liquor can be saved and made into a nice soup for the next day's dinner, by adding the same seasoning as for chicken soup.
PICK the meat from the bones of cold turkey and chop it fine. Put a layer of bread crumbs on the bottom of a buttered dish, moisten them with a little milk, then put in a layer of turkey with some of the filling, and cut small pieces of butter over the top; sprinkle with pepper and salt; then another layer of bread crumbs, and so on until the dish is nearly full; add a little hot water to the gravy left from the turkey and pour over it; then take two eggs, two tablespoonfuls of milk, one of melted butter, a little salt and cracker crumbs as much as will make it thick enough to spread on with a knife; put bits of butter over it, and cover with a plate. Bake three-quarters of an hour. Ten minutes before serving, remove the plate and let it brown.
CUT the remnants of turkey from a previous dinner into pieces of equal size. Boil the bones in a quart of water, until the quart is reduced to a pint; then take out the bones, and to the liquor in which they were boiled add turkey gravy, if you have any, or white stock, or a small piece of butter with salt and pepper; let the liquor thus prepared boil up once; then put in the pieces of turkey, dredge in a little flour, give it one boil-up, and serve in a hot dish.TURKEY WARMED OVER.
PIECES of cold turkey or .chicken may be warmed up with a little butter in a frying pan; place it on a warm platter, surround it with pieces of small thick slices of bread or biscuit halved, first dipping them in hot salted water; then place the platter in a warm oven with the door open. Have already made the following gravy to pour over all: —
Into the frying pan put a large spoonful of butter, one or two cupfuls of milk, and any gravy that may be left over. Bring it to a boil; then add sufficient flour, wet in a little cold milk or water, to make it the consistency of cream. Season with salt, pepper and add a little of the dark meat chopped very fine. Let the sauce cook a few moments, then pour over the biscuit and fowl. This will be found a really nice dish.
CLEAN the fowl as usual. With a sharp and pointed knife, begin at the extremity of the wing, and pass the knife down close to the bone, cutting all the flesh from the bone, and preserving the skin whole; run the knife down each side of the breast bone and up the legs, keeping close to the bone; then split the back half way up, and draw out the bones; fill the places whence the bones were taken with a stuffing, restoring the fowl to its natural form, and sew up all the incisions made in the skin. Lard with two or three rows of slips of fat bacon on the top, basting often with salt and water, and a little butter. Some like a glass of port wine in the gravy.
This is a difficult dish to attempt by any but skillful hands. Carve across in slices, and serve with tomato sauce.
THE goose should not be more than eight months old, and the fatter the more tender and juicy the meat. Stuff with the following mixture: Three pints of bread crumbs, six ounces of butter, or part butter and part salt pork, one teaspoonful each of sage, black pepper and salt, one chopped onion. Do not stuff very full, and stitch openings firmly together to keep flavor in and fat out. Place in a baking pan with a little water, and baste frequently with salt and water (some add vinegar); turn often so that the sides and back may be nicely browned. Bake two hours or more; when done take from the pan, pour off the fat, and to the brown gravy left add the chopped giblets which have previously been stewed until tender, together with the water they were boiled in; thicken with a little flour and butter rubbed together, bring to a boil and serve. English style.
PICK and draw them, wash out well in two or three waters, adding a little soda to the last but one to sweeten it, if there is doubt as to its being fresh. Dry it well with a clean cloth, and fill the crop and body with a stuffing the same as "Dressing for Fowls." Lay it in a dripping-pan; put a pint of hot water and a piece of butter in the dripping-pan, add to it a small tablespoonful of salt, and a small teaspoonful of pepper; baste frequently, and let it roast quickly, without scorching; when nearly done, put a piece of butter the size of a large egg to the water in the pan; when it melts, baste with it, dredge a little flour over, baste again, and let it finish; half an hour will roast a full grown chicken, if the fire is right. When done, take it up.
Having stewed the necks, gizzards, livers and hearts in a very little water, strain it and mix it hot with the gravy that has dripped from the fowls, and which must be first skimmed. Thicken it with a little browned flour, add to it the livers, hearts and gizzards chopped small. Or, put the giblets in the pan with the chicken and let them roast. Send the fowls to the table with the gravy in a boat. Cranberry sauce should accompany them, or any tart sauce.
CLEAN, wash and stuff, as for roasting. Baste a floured cloth around each and put into a pot with enough boiling water to cover them well. The hot water cooks the skin at once and prevents the escape of the juice. The broth will not be so rich as if the fowls are put on in cold water, but this is a proof that the meat will be more nutritious and better flavored. Stew very slowly, for the first half hour especially. Boil an hour or more, guiding yourself by size and toughness. Serve with egg, bread or oyster sauce. (See SAUCES.)
RUB the chicken on the inside with pepper and half a teaspoonful of salt; place in a steamer in a kettle that will keep it as near the water as possible, cover and steam an hour and a half; when done, keep hot while dressing is prepared, then cut up, arrange on the platter, and serve with the dressing over it.
The dressing is made as follows: Boil one pint of gravy from the kettle without the fat, add cayenne pepper and half a teaspoonful of salt; stir a tablespoonful of flour into a quarter of a pint of cream until smooth and add to the gravy. Cornstarch may be used instead of the flour, and some cooks add nutmeg or celery salt.
CUT up two young chickens, put them in a stewpan with just enough cold water to cover them. Cover closely and let them heat very slowly; then stew them over an hour, or until tender. If they are old chickens they will require long, slow boiling, often from three to four hours. When tender, season with salt and pepper, a piece of butter as large as an egg, and a little celery, if liked. Stir up two tablespoonfuls of flour in a little water or milk and add to the stew, also two well-beaten yolks of eggs; let all boil up one minute; arrange the chicken on a warm platter, pour some of the gravy over it and send the rest to the table in a boat. The egg should be added to a little of the cooled gravy before putting with the hot gravy.
WHOLE SPRING CHICKEN.
DRESS a full-grown spring chicken the same as for roasting, seasoning it with salt and pepper inside and out; then fill the body with oysters; place it in a tin pail with a close-fitting cover. Set th pail in a pot of fast-boiling water and cook until, the chicken is tender. Dish up the chicken on a warm dish, then pour the gravy into a saucepan, put into it a tablespoonful of butter, half a cupful of cream or rich milk, three hard-boiled eggs chopped fine, some minced herbs and a tablespoonful of flour. Let all boil up and then pour it over the chicken. Serve hot.
BOIL four chickens till tender enough for meat to fall from bones; put meat in a stone jar and pour over it three pints of cold, good cider vinegar and a pint and a half of the water in which the chickens were boiled; add spices if preferred, and it will be ready for use in two days. This is a popular Sunday evening dish; it is good for luncheon at any time.
MINCE up finely the remains of a cold chicken together with half the quantity of lean, cold ham. Mix them well, adding enough white sauce to moisten them. Now have light paste rolled out until about a quarter of an inch or a little more in thickness. Cut the paste into pieces, one inch by two in size, and lay a little of the mixture upon the centres of half of the pieces and cover them with the other halves, pressing the edges neatly together and forming them into little rolls. Have your frying pan ready with plenty of boiling hot lard, or other frying medium, and fry until they become a golden-brown color. A minute or two will be sufficient for this. Then drain them well and serve immediately on a napkin.
MINCE up fine cold chicken, either roasted or boiled. Season it with pepper and salt, and a little minced parsley and onion. Moisten it with chicken gravy or cream sauce, fill scalloped shells that are lined with pastry with the mixture, and sprinkle bread crumbs over the tops. Put two or three tiny pieces of butter over each, and bake brown in a hot oven.
AFTER dressing and washing the chickens as previously directed, split them open through the back-bone; frog them by cutting the cords under the wings and laying the wings out flat; cut the sinews under the second joint of the leg and turn the leg down; press down the breast-bone without breaking it.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper, lay it upon the gridiron with the inside first to the fire; put the gridiron over a slow fire, and place a tin sheet and weight upon the chicken, to keep it flat; let it broil ten minutes, then turn and proceed in the same manner with the other side.
The chicken should be perfectly cooked, but not scorched. A broiled chicken brought to the table with its wings and legs burnt, and its breast half cooked, is very disagreeable. To avoid this, the chicken must be closely watched while broiling, and the fire must be arranged so that the heat shall be equally dispensed. When the fire is too hot under any one part of the chicken, put a little ashes on the fire under that part, that the heat may be reduced.
Dish a broiled chicken on a hot plate, putting a large lump of butter and a tablespoonful of hot water upon the plate, and turning the chicken two or three times that it may absorb as much of the butter as possible. Garnish with parsley. Serve with poached eggs on a separate dish. It takes from thirty to forty minutes to broil a chicken well.
PREPARE the chicken as for fricassee. When the chicken is stewed tender, seasoned, and the gravy thickened, take it from the fire; take out the largest bones, scrape the meat from the neck and back-bone, throw the bones away; line the sides of a four or six quart pudding-dish with a rich baking powder or soda biscuit dough, a quarter of an inch thick; put in part of the chicken, a few lumps of butter, pepper and salt, if needed, some cold boiled eggs cut in slices. Add the rest of the chicken and season as before; a few new potatoes in their season might be added. Pour over the gravy, being sure to have enough to fill the dish, and cover with a crust a quarter of an inch thick, made with a hole in the centre the size of a teacup.
Brush over the top with beaten white of egg and bake for half to three-quarters of an hour. Garnish the top with small bright celery leaves, neatly arranged in a circle.
WASH and cut up a young chicken, wipe it dry, season with salt and pepper, dredge it with flour, or dip each piece in beaten egg and then in cracker crumbs. Have in a frying pan one ounce each of butter and sweet lard made boiling hot. Lay in the chicken and fry brown on both sides. Take up, drain it and set aside in a covered dish. Stir into the gravy left, if not too much, a large tablespoonful of flour, make it smooth, add a cup of cream or milk, season with salt and pepper, boil up and pour over the chicken. Some like chopped parsley added to the gravy. Serve hot.
If the chicken is old, put into a stewpan with a little water and simmer gently till tender; season with salt and pepper, dip in flour or cracker crumb and egg, and fry as above. Use the broth the chicken was cooked in to make the gravy, instead of the cream or milk, or use an equal quantity of both.
CHICKEN À LA ITALIENNE.
MAKE common batter; mix into it a cupful of chopped tomatoes, one onion chopped, some minced parsley, salt and pepper. Cut up young, tender chickens, dry them well and dip each piece in the batter; then fry brown in plenty of butter in a thick-bottomed frying pan, Serve with tomato sauce.
CROQUETTES. No. 1.
POUR a cup of cream or milk in a saucepan, set it over the fire, and when it boils add a lump of butter as large as an egg, in which has been mixed a tablespoonful of flour. Let it boil up thick; remove from the fire, and when cool mix into it a teaspoonful of salt, half a teaspoonful of pepper, a bit of minced onion or parsley, one cup of fine bread crumbs, and a pint of finely-chopped cooked chicken, either roasted or boiled. Lastly, beat up two eggs and work in with the whole. Flour your hands and make into small, round, flat cakes; dip in egg and bread crumbs and fry like fish cakes in butter and good sweet lard mixed, or like fried cakes in plenty of hot lard. Take them up with a skimmer and lay them on brown paper to free them from the grease. Serve hot.
CROQUETTES. No. 2.
TAKE any kind of fresh meat or fowl, chop very fine, add an equal quantity of smoothly mashed potatoes, mix, and season with butter, salt, black pepper, a little prepared mustard, and a little cayenne pepper; make into cakes, dip in egg and bread crumbs and fry a light brown. A nice relish for tea.
BEAT up two eggs in a deep bowl; roll enough crackers until you have a cupful of crumbs, or the same of fine stale bread crumbs; spread the crumbs on a large plate or pie-tin. Have over the fire a kettle containing two or three inches of boiling lard. As fast as the croquettes are formed, roll them in the crumbs, then dip them in the beaten egg, then again roll them in crumbs; drop them in the smoking hot fat and fry them a light golden brown.
CLEAN and cut up your chickens. Stew in just enough water to cover them. When nearly cooked, season them well with salt and pepper. Let them stew down until the water is nearly all boiled out, and the meat drops easily from the bones. Remove the bones and gristle; chop the meat rather coarsely, then turn it back into the stew-kettle, where the broth was left (after skimming off all fat), and let it heat through again. Turn it into a square bread pan, placing a platter on the top, and a heavy weight on the platter. This, if properly prepared, will turn out like a mold of jelly and may be sliced in smooth, even slices. The success of this depends upon not having too much water; it will not jelly if too weak, or if the water is allowed to boil away entirely while cooking. A good way to cook old fowls.
CHICKEN LUNCH FOR TRAVELING.
CUT a young chicken down the back; wash and wipe dry; season with salt and pepper; put in a dripping-pan and bake in a moderate oven three-quarters of an hour. This is much better for traveling lunch than when seasoned with butter.
All kinds of poultry and meat can be cooked quicker by adding te the water in which they are boiled a. little vinegar or a piece of lemon. By the use of a little acid there will be a considerable saving of fuel, as well as shortening of time. Its action is beneficial on old tough meats, rendering them quite tender and easy of digestion. Tainted meats and fowls will lose their bad taste and odor if cooked in this way, and if not used too freely no taste of it will be acquired.
STRIP the meat from the bones of a cold roast fowl; to every pound of meat allow a quarter of a pound of butter, salt and cayenne pepper to taste; one teaspoonful of pounded mace, half a small nutmeg. Cut the meat into small pieces, pound it well with the butter, sprinkle in the spices gradually and keep pounding until reduced to a perfectly smooth paste. Pack it into small jars and cover with clarified butter, about a quarter of an inch in thickness. Two or three slices of ham minced and pounded with the above will be an improvement. Keep in a dry place. A luncheon or breakfast dish.
Old fowls can be made very tender by putting into them, while boiling, a piece of soda as large as a bean.
DIVIDE a fowl into joints and boil till the meat leaves the bone readily. Take out the bones and chop the meat as small as dice. Thicken the water in which the fowl was boiled with flour and season to taste with butter and salt. Fill a deep dish with alternate layers of bread crumbs and chicken and slices of cooked potatoes, having crumbs on top. Pour the gravy over the top and add a few bits of butter and bake till nicely browned. There should be gravy enough to moisten the dish. Serve with a garnish of parsley. Tiny new potatoes are nice in place of sliced ones when in season.
PREPARE young chickens as for fricassee by cutting them into pieces. Dip each piece in beaten egg, then in grated bread crumbs or rolled cracker; season them with pepper and salt and a little minced parsley. Place them in a baking pan and put on the top of each piece a lump of butter, add half of a cupful of hot water; bake slowly, basting often. When sufficiently cooked take up on a warm platter. Into the pan pour a cup of cream or rich milk, a cupful of bread crumbs. Stir it well until cooked, then pour it over the chicken. Serve while hot.
CHICKEN ON TOAST.
BROIL the usual way and when thoroughly done take it up in a square tin or dripping-pan, butter it well, season with pepper and salt and set it in the oven for a few minutes. Lay slices of moistened buttered toast on a platter; take the chicken up over it, add to the gravy in the pan part of a cupful of cream, if you have it; if not, use milk. Thicken with a little flour and pour over the chicken.
This is considered most excellent.
CUT up a chicken weighing from a pound and a half to two pounds, as for fricassee, wash it well, and put it into a stewpan with sufficient water to cover it; boil it, closely covered, until tender; add a large teaspoonful of salt, and cook a few minutes longer; then remove from the fire, take out the chicken, pour the liquor into a bowl, and set it one side. Now cut up into the stewpan two small onions, and fry them with a piece of butter as large as an egg; as soon as the onions are brown, skim them out and put in the chicken; fry for three or four minutes; next sprinkle over two teaspoonfuls of Curry Powder. Now pour over the liquor in which the chicken was stewed, stir all well together, and stew for five minutes longer, then stir into this a tablespoonful of sifted flour made thin with a little water; lastly, stir in a beaten yolk of egg, and it is done.
Serve with hot boiled rice laid around on the edge of a platter, and the chicken curry in the centre.
This makes a handsome side dish, and a fine relish accompanying a full dinner of roast beef or any roast.
All first-class grocers and druggists keep this "India Curry Powder," put up in bottles. Beef, veal, mutton, duck, pigeons, partridges, rabbits or fresh fish may be substituted for the chicken, if preferred, and sent to the table with or without a dish of rice.
To Boil Rice or Curry. — Pick over the rice, a cupful. Wash it thoroughly in two or three cold waters; then leave it about twenty minutes in cold water. Put into a stewpan two quarts of water with a teaspoonful of salt in it; and when it boils, sprinkle in the rice. Boil it briskly for twenty minutes, keeping the pan covered. Take it from the fire, and drain off the water. Afterwards set the saucepan on the back of the stove, with the lid off, to allow the rice to dry and the grains to separate.
Rice, if properly boiled, should be soft and white, and every grain stand alone. Serve it hot in a separate dish or served as above, laid around the chicken curry.
POT-PIE. No. 1.
Cur and joint a large chicken, cover with cold water, and let it boil gently until tender. Season with salt and pepper, and thicken the gravy with two tablespoonfuls of flour, mixed smooth with a piece of butter the size of an egg. Have ready nice light bread-dough, cut with the top of a wineglass about a half an inch thick; let them stand half an hour and rise, then drop these into the boiling gravy. Put the cover on the pot closely, wrap a cloth around it, in order that no steam shall escape; and by no means allow the pot to cease boiling. Boil three-quarters of an hour.
POT-PIE. No. 2.
THIS style of pot-pie was made more in our grandmother's day than now, as most cooks consider that cooking crust so long destroys its spongy lightness, and renders it too hard and dry.
Take a pair of fine fowls, cut them up, wash the pieces, and season with pepper only. Make a light biscuit dough, and plenty of it, as it is always much liked by the eaters of pot-pie. Roll out the dough not very thin, and cut most of it into long squares. Butter the sides of a pot, and line them with dough nearly to the top. Lay slices of cold ham at the bottom of the pot, and then the pieces of fowl, interspersed all through with squares of dough and potatoes, pared and quartered. Pour in a quart of water. Cover the whole with a lid of dough, having a slit in the centre, through which the gravy will bubble up. Boil it steadily for two hours. Half an hour before you take it up, put in through the hole in the centre of the crust some bits of butter rolled in flour, to thicken the gravy. When done, put the pie on a large dish, and pour the gravy over it.
You may intersperse it all through with cold ham.
A pot-pie may be made of ducks, rabbits, squirrels or venison. Also of beefsteak. A beefsteak, or some porksteaks (the lean only), greatly improve a chicken pot-pie. If you use no ham, season with salt.
STEWED WITH BISCUIT.
TAKE chickens, and make a fricassee; just before you are ready to dish it up, have ready two baking-tins of rich soda or baking-powder biscuits; take them from the oven hot, split them apart by breaking them with your hands, lay them on a large meat platter, covering it, then pour the hot chicken stew over all. Send to the table hot. This is a much better way than boiling this kind of biscuit in the stew, as you are more sure of its being always light.
DRESSED AS TERRAPIN.
SELECT young chickens, clean and cut them into pieces; put them into a stewpan with just enough water to cook them. When tender stir into it half of a cup of butter and one beaten egg. Season it with salt and pepper, a teaspoonful of powdered thyme; add two hardboiled eggs coarsely minced and a small glass of wine. Boil up once and serve with jelly.
ONE quart of flour, two teaspoonfuls of cream tartar mixed with the flour, one teaspoonful of soda dissolved in a teacupful of milk; a teaspoonful of salt; do not use shortening of any kind, but roll out the mixture half an inch thick, and on it lay minced chicken, veal or mutton. The meat must be seasoned with pepper and salt and be free from gristle. Roll the crust over and over, and put it on a buttered plate and place in a steamer for half an hour. Serve for breakfast or lunch, giving a slice to each person with gravy served with it.
CHOP cold roast chicken very fine. Put it into a saucepan, place it over the fire, moisten it with a little water and gravy, or a piece of butter. Season with salt and pepper; add a small tablespoonful of sifted flour dissolved in a little water; heat all through and remove from the fire to become cool. When cooled roll out some plain piecrust quite thin, cut out in rounds as large as a saucer; wet the edge with cold water and put a large spoonful of the minced meat on one-half of the round; fold the other half over and pinch the edges well together, then fry them in hot drippings or fat a nice Drown. They may also be cooked in a moderate oven.
CUT up two young chickens into good-sized pieces; put them in a saucepan with just enough water to cover them well. When boiled quite tender, season with salt and pepper; let them simmer ten or fifteen minutes longer; then take the chicken from the broth and remove all the large bones. Place the meat in a well-buttered pudding dish, season again, if necessary, adding a few bits of butter. Pour over this the following batter: —
Eight eggs beaten light and mixed with one quart of milk, three tablespoonfuls of melted butter, a teaspoonful of salt and two large teaspoonfuls of baking powder, added to enough sifted flour to make a batter like griddle-cakes.
Bake one hour in a moderate oven.
Make a gravy of the broth that remained from the cooking of the chicken, adding a tablespoonful of flour stirred into a third of a cup of melted butter; let it boil up, putting in more water if necessary. Serve hot in a gravy boat with the pudding.
BOIL a chicken until very tender, take out all the bones, and pick up the meat quite fine. Boil half a pound of macaroni until tender, first breaking it up to pieces an inch long. Butter a deep pudding-dish, put on the bottom a layer of the cooked macaroni, then a layer of the minced chicken, bits of butter, pepper and salt, then some of the chicken liquor, over this put another layer of macaroni, and so on, until the dish is filled. Pour a cup of cream over the whole, and bake half an hour. Serve on a platter.
PICK, draw, clean thoroughly, and wipe dry. Cut the neck close to the back, beat the breast-bone flat with a rolling pin, tie the wings and legs securely, and stuff with the following: —
Three pints bread crumbs, six ounces butter, or part butter and salt pork, two chopped onions and one teaspoonful each of sage, black pepper and salt. Do not stuff very full, and sew up the openings firmly to keep the flavor in and the fat out. If not fat enough, it should be larded with salt pork, or tie a slice upon the breast. Place in a baking pan, with a little water, and baste frequently with salt and water some add onion, and some vinegar; turn often, so that the sides and back may all be nicely browned. When nearly done, baste with butter and a little flour. These directions will apply to tame geese as well as ducks. Young ducks should roast from twenty-five to thirty minutes, and full-grown ones for an hour or more, with frequent basting. Some prefer them underdone and served very hot; but, as a rule, thorough cooking will prove more palatable. Make a gravy out of the necks and gizzards by putting them in a quart of cold water, that must be reduced to a pint by boiling. The giblets, when done, may be chopped fine and added to the juice. The preferred seasonings are one tablespoonful of Madeira or sherry, a blade of mace, one small onion, and a little cayenne pepper; strain through a hair sieve; pour a little over the ducks and serve the remainder in a boat. Served with jellies or any tart sauce.
PREPARE a pair of fine young ducks, the same as for roasting, place them in a stewpan together with two or three slices of bacon, a carrot, an onion stuck with two cloves, and a little thyme and parsley. Season with pepper, and cover the whole with a broth, adding to the broth a gill of white wine. Place the pan over a gentle fire and allow the ducks to simmer until done, basting them frequently. When done remove them from the pan, and place them where they will keep hot. A turnip should then be cwt up and fried in some butter. When nicely browned, drain the pieces and cook them until tender in the liquor in which the ducks were braised. Now strain and thicken the gravy, and after dishing up the ducks, pour it over them, garnishing with the pieces of turnip.
Palmer House, Chicago.
PREPARE them by cutting them up the same as chicken for fricassee. Lay two or three very thin slices of salt pork upon the bottom of a stew-pan; lay the pieces of duck upon the pork. Let them stew slowly for an hour, closely covered. Then season with salt and pepper, half a teaspoonful of powdered sage, or some green sage minced fine; one chopped onion. Stew another half hour until the duck is tender. Stir up a large tablespoonful of brown flour in a little water and add it to the stew. Let it boil up, and serve all together in one dish, accompanied with green peas.
Palmer House, Chicago.
CUT all the meat from cold roast ducks; put the bones and stuffing into cold water; cover them and let boil; put the meat into a deep dish; pour on enough of the stock made from the bones to moisten; cover with pastry slit in the centre with a knife, and bake a light brown.
A NICE dish for breakfast, and very relishing, can be made from the remains of a roast of duck. Cut the meat from the bones, pick out all the little tidbits in the recesses, lay them in a frying pan, and cover with water and the cold gravy left from the roast; add a piece of butter; let all boil up once and if not quite thick enough, stir in a little dissolved flour. Serve hot.
WILD duck should not be dressed too soon after being killed. If the weather is cold it will be better for being kept several days. Bake in a hot oven, letting it remain for five or ten minutes without basting to keep in the gravy, then baste frequently with butter and water. If over-done it loses flavor, thirty to forty minutes in the right kind of an oven being sufficient. Serve on a very hot dish, and send to table as hot as possible with a cut lemon and the following sauce: —
Put in a tiny saucepan a tablespoonful each of Worcestershire sauce and mushroom catsup, a little salt and cayenne pepper and the juice of half a lemon. Mix well, make it hot, remove from the fire and stir in a teaspoonful of made mustard. Pour into a hot gravy boat.
California Style, Lick House.
MOST wild ducks are apt to have the flavor of fish, and when in the hands of inexperienced cooks are sometimes unpalatable on this account. Before roasting them, parboil them with a small peeled carrot put within each duck. This absorbs the unpleasant taste. An onion will have the same effect, but unless you use onions in the stuffing the carrot is preferable. Roast the same as tame duck. Or put into the duck a whole onion peeled, plenty of salt and pepper, and a glass of claret, bake in a hot oven twenty minutes. Serve hot With the gravy it yields in cooking and a dish of currant jelly.
THE epicurean taste declares that this special kind of bird requires no spices or flavors to make it perfect, as the meat partakes of the flavor of the food that the bird feeds upon, being mostly wild celery; and the delicious flavor is best preserved when roasted quickly with a hot fire. After dressing the duck in the usual way by plucking, singeing, drawing, wipe it with a wet towel, truss the head under the wing; place it in a dripping-pan, put it in the oven, basting often, and roast it half an hour. It is generally preferred a little underdone. Place it when done on a hot dish, season well with salt and pepper, pour over it the gravy it has yielded in baking and serve it immediately while hot.
PIGEONS lose their flavor by being kept more than a day after they are killed. They may be prepared and roasted or broiled the same as chickens; they will require from twenty to thirty minutes' cooking. Make a gravy of the giblets or not, season it with pepper and salt, and add a little flour and butter.
CLEAN and stuff with onion dressing, thyme, etc., — do not sew up; take five or more slices of corned pork, let it fry a while in a pot so that the fat comes out and it begins to brown a little; then lay the pigeons all around in the fat, leaving the pork still in; add hot water enough to partially cover them; cover tightly and boil an hour or so until tender; then turn off some of the liquid, and keep turning them so they will brown nicely; then heat and add the liquor poured off; add extra thyme, pepper, and keep turning until the pigeons and gravy are nicely browned. Thicken with a little flour, and serve with the gravy poured over them; garnish with parsley.
TAKE half a dozen pigeons; stuff each one with a dressing the same as for turkey; loosen the joints with a knife, but do not separate them. Put them in a stewpan with water enough to cover them, let them cook until nearly tender, then season them with salt and pepper and butter. Thicken the gravy with flour, remove and cool. Butter a pudding dish, line the sides with a rich crust. Have ready some hardboiled eggs cut in slices. Put in a layer of egg and birds and gravy until the dish is full. Cover with a crust and bake.
PIGEONS OR SQUABS.
SPLIT them down the back and broil the same as chicken; seasoning well with salt, pepper and plenty of butter. Broil slices of salt pork, very thin; place a slice over each bird and serve.
CUT into dice three ounces of salt pork; divide six wild squabs into pieces at the joints; remove the skin. Cut up four potatoes into small squares, and prepare a dozen small dough balls.
Put into a yellow, deep baking dish the pork, potatoes and squabs, and then the balls of dough, season with salt, white pepper, a dash of mace or nutmeg; add hot water enough to cover the ingredients, cover with a " short" pie-crust and bake in a moderate oven three-quarters of an hour.
Palmer House, Chicago.
SKIN the head and neck of the bird, pluck the feathers, and truss it by bringing the beak of the bird under the wing, and fastening the pinion to the thigh; twist the legs at the knuckles and press the feet upon the thigh. Put a piece of bread under each bird to catch the drippings, baste with butter, dredge with flour, and roast fifteen or twenty minutes with a sharp fire. When done, cut the bread in diamond shape, each piece large enough to stand one bird upon, place them aslant on your dish, and serve with gravy enough to moisten the bread; serve some in the dish and some in the tureen; garnish with slices of lemon. Boast from twenty to twenty-five minutes.
SNIPE are similar to woodcock, and may be served in the same manner; they will require less time to roast.
PICK and draw them very carefully, salt and dredge with flour, and roast with a quick fire ten or fifteen minutes. Serve on toast with butter and pepper. You can put in each one an oyster dipped in butter and then in bread crumbs before roasting. They are also very nice broiled.
RINSE well and steam over boiling water until tender, then dredge with flour, and smother in butter; season with salt and pepper and roast inside the stove; thicken the gravy; serve with green grape jelly, and garnish with parsley.
ROAST PARTRIDGES, PHEASANTS,
CAREFULLY cut out all the shot, wash thoroughly but quickly, using soda in the water; rinse again, and dry with a clean cloth. Stuff them and sew them up. Skewer the legs and wings to the body, larder the breast with very thin slices of fat salt pork, place them in the oven, and baste with butter and water before taking up, having seasoned them with salt and pepper; or you can leave out the pork and use only butter, or cook them without stuffing. Make a gravy of the drippings thickened with browned flour. Boil up and serve in a boat.
These are all very fine broiled, first splitting down the back, placing on the gridiron the inside down, cover with a baking tin, and broil slowly at first. Serve with cream gravy.
CLEAN well, inside and out, a dozen small birds, quail, snipe, woodcock, etc., and split them in half; put them in a saucepan with about two quarts of water; when it boils, skim off all scum that rises; then add salt and pepper, a bunch of minced parsley, one onion chopped fine, and three whole cloves. Cut up half a pound of salt pork into dice, and let all boil until tender, using care that there be enough water to cover the birds. Thicken this with two tablespoonfuls of browned flour and let it boil up. Stir in a piece of butter as large as an egg; remove from the fire and let it cool. Have ready a pint of potatoes cut as small as dice, and a rich crust made. Line the sides of a buttered pudding dish with the crust; lay in the birds, then some of the potatoes, then birds and so on, until the dish is full. Pour over the gravy, put on the top crust, with a slit cut in the centre, and bake. The top can be ornamented with pastry leaves in a wreath about the edge, with any fancy design placed in the centre across the slit.
ONE dozen thoroughly cleaned birds; stuff each with an oyster, put them into a yellow dish, and add two ounces of boiled salt pork and three raw potatoes cut into slices; add a pint of oyster liquor, an ounce of butter; salt and pepper; cover the dish with a crust and bake in moderate oven.
THEY are cooked similar to rabbits, are excellent when broiled or made into a stew, and, in fact, are very good in all the different styles of cooking similar to rabbit.
There are many species common to this country; among them the black, red, gray and fox. Gophers and chipmunks may also be classed as another but smaller variety.
HARE OR RABBIT.
A VERY close relationship exists between the hare and the rabbit, the chief difference being in the smaller size and shorter legs and ears of the latter. The manner of dressing and preparing each for the table is, therefore, pretty nearly the same. To prepare them for roasting, first skin, wash well in cold water and rinse thoroughly in lukewarm water. If a little musty from being emptied before they were hung up, and afterward neglected, rub the insides with vinegar and afterward remove all taint of the acid, by a thorough washing in lukewarm water. After being well wiped with a soft cloth put in a dressing as usual, sew the animal up, truss it, and roast for half or three-quarters of an hour, until well browned, basting it constantly with butter and dredging with flour, just before taking up.
To make a gravy, after the rabbits are roasted, pour nearly all the fat out of the pan, but do not pour the bottom or brown part of the drippings; put the pan over the fire, stir into it a heaping tablespoonful of flour, and stir until the flour browns. Then stir in a pint of boiling water. Season the gravy with salt and pepper; let it boil for a moment. Send hot to the table in a tureen with the hot rabbits. Serve with currant jelly.
CLEAN two young rabbits, cut into joints, and soak in salt and water half an hour. Put into a saucepan with a pint of cold water, a bunch of sweet herbs, an onion finely minced, a pinch of mace, half a nutmeg, a pinch of pepper and half a pound of salt pork cut in small thin slices. Cover and stew until tender. Take out the rabbits and set in a dish where they will keep warm. Add to the gravy a cup of cream (or milk), two well-beaten eggs, stirred in a little at a time, a tablespoonful of butter, and a thickening made of a tablespoonful of flour and a little milk. Boil up once; remove the saucepan from the fire, squeeze in the juice of a lemon, stirring all the while, and pour over the rabbits. Do not cook the head or neck.
AFTER the rabbit has been thoroughly cleaned and washed, put it into boiling water, and let it boil ten minutes; drain it, and when cold, cut it into joints, dip into beaten egg, and then in fine bread crumbs; season with salt and pepper. When all are ready, fry them in butter and sweet lard, mix over a moderate fire until brown on both sides. Take them out, thicken the gravy with a spoonful of flour, turn in a cup of milk or cream; let all boil up, and turn over the rabbits. Serve hot with onion sauce. (See SAUCES.) Garnish with sliced lemon.
THIS pie can be made the same as "Game Pie" excepting you scatter through it four hard-boiled eggs cut in slices. Cover with puff paste, cut a slit in the middle, and bake one hour, laying paper over the top should it brown too fast.
AFTER skinning and cleaning the rabbits, wipe them dry, split them down the back lengthwise, pound them flat, then wrap them in letter paper well buttered, place them on a buttered gridiron, and broil over a clear, brisk fire, turning them often. When sufficiently cooked, remove the papers, lay them on a very hot platter, season with salt, pepper and plenty of butter, turning them over and over to soak up the butter. Cover and keep hot in a warming oven until served.
THIS is a nice mode of serving the remains of roasted game, but when a superlative salmi is desired, the birds must be scarcely more than half roasted for it. In either case, carve them very neatly, and strip every particle of skin and fat from the legs, wings and breasts; bruise the bodies well, and put them with the skin and other trimmings into a very clean stewpan. If for a simple and inexpensive dinner, merely add to them two sliced onions, a bay-leaf, a small blade of mace and a few peppercorns; then pour in a pint or more of good veal gravy, or strong broth, and boil it briskly until reduced nearly half; strain the gravy, pressing the bones well to obtain all the flavor; skim off the fat, add a little cayenne and lemon juice, heat the game very gradually in it, but do not on any account allow it to boil; place pieces of fried bread around a dish, arrange the birds in good form in the centre, give the sauce a boil, and pour it on them.
HAUNCH OF VENISON.
TO PREPARE a haunch of venison for roasting, wash it slightly in tepid water and dry it thoroughly by rubbing it with a clean, soft cloth. Lay over the fat side a large sheet of thickly-buttered paper, and next a paste of flour and water about three-quarters of an inch thick; cover this again with two or three sheets of stout paper, secure the whole well with twine, and put down to roast, with a little water, in the dripping-pan. Let the fire be clear and strong; baste the paper immediately with butter or 1 clarified drippings, and roast the joint from three to four hours, according to its weight and quality. Doe venison will require half an hour less time than buck venison. About twenty minutes before the joint is done remove the paste and paper, baste the meat in every part with butter, and dredge it very lightly with flour; let it take a pale brown color, and serve hot with unflavored gravy made with a thickening in a tureen and good currant jelly. Venison is much better when the deer has been killed in the autumn, when wild berries are plentiful, and it has had abundant opportunities to fatten upon this and other fresh food.
Windsor Hotel, Montreal.
VENISON steaks should be broiled over a clear fire, turning often. It requires more cooking than beef. When sufficiently done, season with salt and pepper, pour over two tablespoonfuls of currant jelly melted with a piece of butter. Serve hot on hot plates.
Delicious steaks, corresponding to the shape of mutton chops, are cut from the loin.
BAKED SADDLE OF VENISON.
WASH the saddle carefully; see that no hairs are left dried on to the outside. Use a saddle of venison of about ten pounds. Cut some salt pork in strips about two inches long and an eighth of an inch thick, with which lard the saddle with two rows on each side. In a large dripping-pan cut two carrots, one onion and some salt pork in thin slices; add two bay-leaves, two cloves, four kernels of allspice, half a lemon sliced, and season with salt and pepper; place the saddle of venison in the pan, with a quart of good stock boiling hot and a small piece of butter, and let it boil about fifteen minutes on top of the stove; then put it in a hot oven and bake, basting well every five minutes, until it is medium rare, so that the blood runs when cut; serve with jelly or a wine sauce. If the venison is desired well done, cook much longer, and use a cream sauce with it, or stir cream into the venison gravy. (For cream sauce see SAUCES.)
Venison should never be roasted unless very fat. The shoulder is a roasting piece and may be done without the paper or paste.
In ordering the saddle request the butcher to cut the ribs off pretty close, as the only part that is of much account is the tenderloin and thick meat that lies along the backbone up to the neck. The ribs which extend from this have very little meat on them, but are always sold with the saddle. When neatly cut off they leave the saddle in a better shape, and the ribs can be put into your stock-pot to boil for soup.
Windsor Hotel, Montreal.
PIE OR PASTRY.
THE neck, breast and shoulder are the parts used for a venison pie or pastry. Cut the meat into pieces (fat and lean together) and put the bones and trimmings into the stewpan with pepper and salt, and water or veal broth enough to cover it. Simmer it till you have drawn out a good gravy. Then strain it.
In the meantime make a good rich paste, and roll it rather thick. Cover the bottom and sides of a deep dish with one sheet of it, and put in your meat, having seasoned it with pepper, salt, nutmeg and mace. Pour in the gravy which you have prepared from the trimmings, and a glass of port wine. Lay on the top some bits of butter rolled in flour. Cover the pie with a thick lid of paste and ornament it handsomely with leaves and flowers formed with a tin cutter. Bake two or more hours according to the size. Just before it is done, pull it forward in the oven, and brush it over with beaten egg; push it back and let it slightly brown.
Windsor Hotel, Montreal.
Cur the meat in nice small slices, and put the trimmings and bones into a saucepan with barely water enough to cover them. Let them stew for an hour. Then strain the liquid into a stewpan; add to it some bits of butter, rolled in flour, and whatever gravy was left of the venison the day before. Stir in some currant jelly, and give it a boil up. Then put in the meat, and keep it over the fire just long enough to warm it through; but do not allow it to boil, as it has been once cooked already.
breast of venison into
steaks; make a quarter 01 a pound of butter hot in a pan; rub the
steaks over with a mixture of a little salt and pepper; dip them in
wheat flour, or rolled crackers, and fry a rich brown; when both
sides are done, take them up on a dish, and put a tin cover over;
dredge a heaping teaspoonful of flour into the butter in the pan,
stir it with a spoon until it is brown, without burning; put to it a
small teacupful of boiling water, with a tablespoonful of currant
jelly dissolved into it; stir it for a few minutes, then strain it
over the meat and serve. A glass of wine, with a tablespoonful of
white sugar dissolved in it, may be used for the gravy, instead of
the jelly and water. Venison may be boiled, and served with boiled
vegetables, pickled beets, etc., and sauce.