The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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134                                 FOWLS.
long enough to allow the fat to drip down and brown at the bottom of the pan. By this means you obtain the much prized gravy with less trouble than the usual way of toasting flour for the thickening. After you have put water into the pan baste the fowl frequently by dipping it over it. Dust flour over the turkey and lay on ail the fat that has been taken from the inside. It melts and runs down, and thus keeps the skin from drying too much. Put a turkey weighing i o or 12 lbs. into the oven at 8 o'clock in the morning if you dine at 12. It should be baked for 4 hours. In winter the stuffing should be prepared the day before, as the mornings are short; when you remove the turkey to the platter or dish remember to take out the shreds used to sew up the bird before roasting, as it may inconven­ience the getting his knife entangled in it. After the gravy is thickened and cooked pour it into a bowl or tureen and let the fat rise, and remove every spoonful of it. Then if you choose you can put it back into the dripping pan and add, after removing the fat, a portion of butter, and then pour it into the gravy tureen for the table.
To Boil Chickens.—After you have drawn them, lay them in skimmed milk for 2 hours and truss them. When you have prop­erly singed and dusted them with flour cover them closely in cold water and set them over a slow fire. Having taken off the scum and boiled them slowly 5 or 6 minutes, take them off the fire and keep them closely covered for 1-2 hour in the water, which will do them sufficiently and make them plump and white. Before youdi*h them set them on the fire to heat; then drain them and pour over them white sauce, which you have just made ready in the following manner: Take the heads of the chickens with a small piece of scrag veal, or any scraps of mutton you may have by you, and put them in a sauce-pan with a blade or two of mace, a few black pepper­corns, a head of celery, a slice of the end of a lemon and a bunch of parsley and thyme. Put to these a quart of water, cover it closely and let it boil until it is reduced to 1-2 pint; then strain and thicken it with a cup of butter mixed with flour and boil 5 or 6 minutes; then put in 2 spoonfuls of mushroom, walnut or tomato catsup and mix the yolks of 2 eggs with a teacupful of cream and a little nut­meg grated. Put in your sauce and keep shaking over the fire till it is near boiling; then pour it into your boat and serve it up with your chicken.
Boiled Fowl with oysters is excellent. One young fowl, 3 dozen oysters, the yolks of 2 eggs, and 1-4 pint of cream. Truss a young fowl as for boiling, fill the inside with oysters which have been bearded and washed in their own liquor; secure the ends of the fowl, put it into a jar and plunge the jar into a sauce-pan of boiling water.