Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 3
Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
Part 3 out of 6
[Illustration: FIG. 9 (_a_)]
[Illustration: FIG. 9 (_b_)]
34. Roast Leg of Mutton or Lamb.--Of all the principal cuts of mutton or
lamb, the leg contains the smallest percentage of waste. It is,
therefore, especially suitable for roasting and is generally used for
this purpose. In Fig. 9 are shown two views of a leg of lamb or mutton.
That in (_a_) illustrates the leg with part of the loin attached, and
that in (_b_), the leg trimmed and ready for cooking. In order to make
the leg smaller, a slice resembling a round steak of beef is sometimes
cut for broiling, as here shown. If desired, the leg may be boned and
then stuffed before roasting. Since these meats are characterized by a
very marked flavor, something tart or acid is generally served
To roast a leg of lamb or mutton, remove the caul, the pink skin, and
the superfluous fat. Dredge the leg with flour, salt, and pepper, set in
a roasting pan, and place in a hot oven. After the meat has cooked for
15 minutes, lower the temperature, and bake for 2 hours. Baste
frequently with water to which has been added a small amount of bacon or
ham fat and which should be put in the pan with the meat. Serve hot with
something acid, such as mint sauce, currant or mint jelly, or
A mint sauce that will be found satisfactory for this purpose is made as
2 Tb. powdered sugar
1/2 c. vinegar
1/4 c. finely chopped mint leaves,
or 2 Tb. dried mint
Add the sugar to the vinegar and heat. Pour this over the mint and steep
on the back of the stove for 30 minutes.
35. Roast Saddle of Mutton.--While saddle is the name applied to the
hind quarters of lamb and mutton, this term, as used in the cooking of
such meat, refers to the piece that consists of the two sides of the
loin cut off in one piece. It may be cut with or without the flank. In
either form, it is rolled and then skewered or tied into shape.
To roast such a piece, remove all superfluous fat, dredge with flour,
salt, and pepper, place in a pan, and sear in a hot oven. Then reduce
the heat, place a small quantity of water in the pan, and bake for 2-1/2
to 3 hours, basting from time to time during this cooking process. Serve
with or without mint sauce, as desired.
36. Crown Roast of Lamb.--A very attractive roast is made by cutting the
same number of corresponding ribs from each side of the lamb and
trimming back the meat from the end of each rib. Such a roast is called
a crown roast. Fig. 10 shows a crown roast with the ribs trimmed, the
two pieces fastened together, and paper frills placed on the ends of the
bones. Such frills are usually added by the butcher, but they may be
purchased in supply stores and put on in the home.
[Illustration: FIG. 10]
To prepare a roast of this kind, cook in the same way as a roast leg or
saddle. When it is sufficiently baked, fill the center with a cooked and
seasoned vegetable. Brussels sprouts, peas, string beans, asparagus, and
cauliflower are especially suitable for this purpose. Just before
serving, cover the ends of the bones with paper frills, as shown in the
37. Lamb and Mutton Chops.--Chops of mutton or lamb are obtained from
two sources. They may be cut from the ribs and have one bone in each cut
or they may be cut from the loin, when they correspond to the steaks
in beef. The loins and ribs of lamb, which are sometimes used for
rolled racks, but from which chops are usually cut, are shown in
Fig. 11. A rib chop cut from this piece has only a small part
of solid lean meat and contains one rib bone. Such a chop can
be made into a French chop, as shown in Fig. 12, by trimming
the meat from the bone down to the lean part, or "eye," of the chop.
Just before being served, a paper frill may be placed over the bone of a
chop of this kind. Chops cut from the loin often have a strip of bacon
or salt pork rolled around the edge and fastened with a skewer, as shown
in Fig. 13.
[Illustration: FIG. 11]
[Illustration: Fig. 12]
38. The most satisfactory way in which to prepare chops is either to
broil them in a broiler or to pan-broil them. Apply to the cooking of
them the same principles that relate to the preparation of steaks; that
is, have the pan or broiler hot, sear the chops quickly on both sides,
and then cook them more slowly until well done, turning them
frequently. The broiling of lamb chops should require only from 8 to 10
minutes, as they are seldom more than 1 inch thick.
39. Lamb and Mutton Stews.--The cheaper cuts of lamb and mutton, such as
the neck, chuck, and flank, are used for the making of stews. Mutton,
however, is not so satisfactory as lamb for such dishes, as its flavor
is too strong. If mutton must be used, its flavor can be improved by
adding 1 or 2 tablespoonfuls of vinegar during the cooking. The chief
object in the making of lamb and mutton stews is, as in the case of beef
and veal stews, to draw from the meat as much as possible of the
flavoring and nutritive materials.
[Illustration: FIG. 13]
This can be accomplished by cutting up the meat into small pieces so as
to increase the amount of surface exposed and by keeping the temperature
low enough to prevent the proteins from coagulating.
With these points in mind, proceed in the making of lamb or mutton stew
in the same way as for beef stew. To improve the flavor of the stew,
cook with it savory herbs and spices, such as bay leaf, parsley,
PREPARATION OF LEFT-OVER LAMB AND MUTTON
40. Turkish Lamb.--No left-over meat lends itself more readily to the
preparation of made dishes than lamb. Combined with tomatoes and rice
and flavored with horseradish, it makes a very appetizing dish called
Turkish lamb. The accompanying recipe should be carefully followed in
preparing this dish.
(Sufficient to Serve Six)
2 Tb. butter
1 onion, chopped
1/2 c. rice
1 c. water
1 c. stewed tomatoes
1-1/2 c. diced lamb or mutton
1 Tb. horseradish
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
Put the butter in a frying pan and to it add the chopped onion and the
dry rice. Cook until the rice is browned. Then pour in the water and
tomatoes and add the meat, horseradish, salt, and pepper. Simmer gently
until the rice is completely cooked.
41. MINCED LAMB ON TOAST.--Any lamb that remains after a meal may be
minced by chopping it fine or putting it through the food chopper. If it
is then heated, moistened well with water or stock, and thickened
slightly, it makes an excellent preparation to serve on toast.
After mincing lean pieces of left-over lamb until they are very fine,
put them in a buttered frying pan. Dredge the meat well with flour and
allow it to brown slightly. Add enough water or stock to moisten well.
Season with salt and pepper, cook until the flour has thickened, and
then serve on toast.
42. SCALLOPED LAMB OR MUTTON.--As a scalloped dish is usually pleasing
to most persons, the accompanying recipe for scalloped lamb or mutton
will undoubtedly find favor. Both macaroni and tomatoes are combined
with the meat in this dish, but rice could be substituted for the
macaroni, if desired.
To make scalloped lamb or mutton, arrange a layer of buttered crumbs in
a baking dish, and on top of them place a layer of cooked macaroni, a
layer of meat, and then another layer of macaroni. Over this pour enough
stewed tomato to moisten the whole well. Season each layer with salt,
pepper, and butter. Over the top, place a layer of buttered crumbs. Bake
in a medium-hot oven until the whole is thoroughly heated.
43. SPANISH STEW.--Left-over pieces of mutton or lamb may also form the
foundation of a very appetizing dish known as Spanish stew. Here
tomatoes are also used, and to give the stew flavor chilli sauce
(Sufficient to Serve Six)
2 Tb. butter.
1 onion, sliced
1 Tb. flour
2 c. lamb or mutton, diced
1-1/2 c. stewed tomatoes
1 c. stock or gravy
1 Tb. chilli sauce
1 red pepper, cut fine
2 tsp. salt
Put the butter in a frying pan and brown the sliced onion in it. Add the
flour and meat, and after browning them pour in the stewed tomatoes and
the stock or gravy. Season with the chilli sauce, the red pepper, and
the salt. Cover and let simmer until the whole is well thickened
44. INDIVIDUAL LAMB PIES.--Individual pies are always welcome, but when
they are made of lamb or mutton they are especially attractive. The
proportions required for pies of this kind are given in the
INDIVIDUAL LAMB PIES
2 c. diced lamb or mutton
1/2 c. diced carrots
1/2 c. peas, cooked or canned
1 c. gravy or thickened stock
Cut into small pieces any left-over lamb or mutton. Cook the carrots
until they are soft, add them, together with the peas, to the meat, and
pour the gravy or thickened stock over all. Simmer gently for a few
minutes. Line patty pans with a thin layer of baking-powder biscuit
dough, fill with the mixture, and cover the top with another thin layer
of the dough. Bake in a quick oven until the dough is baked.
* * * * *
GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF PORK
45. PORK is the flesh of slaughtered swine used as food. It is believed
to be more indigestible than other meats, but if it is obtained from a
young and properly fed animal, it is not only digestible, but highly
appetizing, and, when eaten occasionally, it is very wholesome.
The age of the animal from which pork is cut can be determined by the
thickness of the skin; the older the animal, the thicker the skin. To be
of the best kind, pork should have pink, not red, flesh composed of
fine-grained tissues, and its fat, which, in a well-fattened animal,
equals about one-eighth of the entire weight, should be white and firm.
Although all cuts of pork contain some fat, the proportion should not be
too great, or the pieces will not contain as much lean as they should.
However, the large amount of fat contained in pork makes its food value
higher than that of other meats, unless they are excessively fat, and
consequently difficult of digestion.
46. One of the chief advantages of pork is that about nine-tenths of
the entire dressed animal may be preserved by curing and smoking.
Originally, these processes required a period of 2 to 3 months for their
completion, but they have gradually been shortened until now only a few
days are required for the work. Pork cured and smoked by the new
methods, however, does not possess such excellent flavor and such good
keeping qualities as that so treated by the longer process. Any one who
has the right storage facilities to care for the meat properly will find
it much more economical to purchase a whole carcass or a part of one and
then salt, smoke, or pickle the various pieces that can be treated in
this way than to purchase this meat cut by cut as it is needed
CUTS OF PORK
47. NAMES OF PORK CUTS.--The butcher usually buys a whole carcass of
pork. He first divides it into halves by splitting it through the spine,
and then cuts it up into smaller pieces according to the divisions shown
in Fig. 14, which illustrates the outside and the inside of a dressed
hog. As will be observed, the method of cutting up a hog differs greatly
from the cutting of the animals already studied. After the head is
removed, each side is divided into the shoulder, clear back fat, ribs,
loin, middle cut, belly, ham, and two hocks.
48. USES OF PORK CUTS.--Hogs are usually fattened before they are
slaughtered, and as a result there is a layer of fat under the skin
which is trimmed off and used in the making of lard. The best quality of
lard, however, is made from the fat that surrounds the kidneys. This is
called _leaf lard_, because the pieces of fat are similar in shape to
leaves. Such lard has a higher melting point and is more flaky than that
made from fat covering the muscles.
49. The head of pork does not contain a great deal of meat, but, as the
quality of this meat is very good, it is valuable for a number of
special dishes, such as headcheese and scrapple.
The hocks contain considerable gelatine, so they are used for dishes
that solidify, or become firm, after they are made.
[Illustration: Fig. 14]
[Illustration: FIG. 15]
[Illustration: FIG. 16]
[Illustration: FIG. 17]
50. A shoulder of pork cut roughly from the carcass is shown in Fig. 15.
This piece provides both roasts and steaks, or, when trimmed, it may
be cured or smoked. The front leg, which is usually cut to include the
lower part of the shoulder, is shown in Fig. 16. The ribs inside this
cut, when cut from underneath, are sold as spareribs. This piece, as
shown in Fig. 17, is generally trimmed to make what is known as
[Illustration: FIG. 18]
51. The ribs and the loin cut in one piece are shown in Fig. 18. From
this piece are obtained the most desirable chops and roasts. When a
roast is desired, the rib bones are removed from the rib cut, which then
resembles the piece shown in Fig. 19. Directly under the backbone in
these cuts is the tenderest piece of pork to be had. When this is
removed in one piece, it is, as in beef, called the _tenderloin_. Very
often, however, it is left in to be cut up with the rest of the loin.
[Illustration: FIG. 19]
52. The middle cut is commonly used for bacon, while the belly is most
suitable for salt pork. These two cuts consist of large quantities of
fat and only narrow layers of lean. They are especially valuable for
enriching and flavoring foods, such as beans, that are neither rich in
fat nor highly flavored.
[Illustration: FIG. 20]
53. The hind leg, or untrimmed ham, just as it is cut from the carcass,
is shown in Fig. 20. When this piece is trimmed and ready for curing or
for roasting, it appears as shown in Fig. 21. As will be noticed, the
outside skin, or rind, is not removed from either the shoulder or
[Illustration: FIG. 21]
54. TABLE OF PORK CUTS.--As is done in explaining the meats that have
been considered previously, there is here presented a table, designated
as Table III, that gives the names of the pork cuts and the uses to
which they may be put. This table will assist the housewife materially
in learning the names and uses of the various cuts of pork.
NAMES AND USES OF PORK CUTS
NAMES OF CUTS USES OF CUTS
Head Headcheese, boiling, baking
Shoulder Steaks, roasting, curing, smoking
Spareribs Roasting, boiling
Belly Salt pork, curing
Middle cut Bacon, curing, smoking
Ribs Chops, roasting
Loin Chops, roasting
Ham Roasting, curing, smoking
Back fat Lard
Hock Boiling, making jelly
Internal organs and trimmings Sausage
* * * * *
COOKING OF PORK
FRESH PORK AND ITS PREPARATION
55. ROAST PORK.--In the preparation of pork for the table, and a roast
in particular, several points must be taken into consideration. Unlike
beef, which is often served rare, pork must be well done in order to be
satisfactory. Rare pork to most persons is repulsive. Also, as a large
part of the surface of a pork roast, especially one cut from the
shoulder, loin, or ribs, is covered with a layer of fat, pork does not
have to be seared to prevent the loss of juice, nor does it have to be
put into such a hot oven as that required for beef. In fact, if the
temperature of the oven is very high, the outside will finish cooking
before the heat has had a chance to penetrate sufficiently to cook the
center. While this makes no difference with meat that does not need to
be thoroughly cooked, it is a decided disadvantage in the case of pork.
56. When a shoulder of pork is to be roasted, it makes a very
satisfactory dish if it is boned and stuffed before roasting. To bone
such a piece, run a long, narrow knife all around the bone and cut it
loose; then pick up the bone by one end and shake it until it will pull
out. Fill the opening thus formed with bread or cracker stuffing.
If an especially inviting roast of pork is desired, a _crown roast_
should be selected, for this is just as attractive as a crown roast of
lamb. It is made by cutting corresponding pieces from each side of the
rib piece, trimming the bones clean as far back as the lean part of the
chops, and fastening the pieces together. A garnish of fried apple rings
is very attractive for such a roast.
57. To cook a roast of any of these varieties, wipe the meat thoroughly,
dredge it with flour, salt, and pepper, and place it on a rack in a
dripping pan. Bake about 3 hours, depending on the size of the roast,
and baste every 15 minutes with fat from the bottom of the dripping pan.
After the roast is removed from the roasting pan, make a gravy as for
any other roast. Serve with apple sauce, baked apples, cranberry sauce,
chilli sauce, pickles, or some other acid dish. Such an accompaniment
aids considerably in the digestion of pork, for it cuts the large amount
of fat that this meat contains and that so often retards the digestion,
and hastens the fat through the stomach.
58. ROAST PIG.--In some households, roasted pig is the favorite meat for
the Thanksgiving or the Christmas dinner. There is sufficient reason for
its popularity, for when properly prepared and attractively garnished,
roasted pig offers a pleasing change from the meat usually served on
To be suitable for roasting, a pig should be not more than 1 month or 6
weeks old and should not weigh more than 7 or 8 pounds after it is
cleaned. The butcher should prepare it for cooking by scalding off the
hair, washing the pig thoroughly, inside and out, and withdrawing the
entrails of the animal through an incision made in the under part of
59. When the pig is received in the home, wash it thoroughly, within and
without, wipe it dry, and fill it with stuffing. To make a stuffing
suitable for this purpose, season 2 quarts of fine bread crumbs with 4
tablespoonfuls of chopped onion, 2 teaspoonfuls of salt, 1 teaspoonful
of pepper, and cupful of melted butter. Mix thoroughly and add 3 beaten
eggs. If the stuffing needs moisture, add water or milk. Stuff the pig
firmly with this stuffing, using every effort to restore its original
shape. Then sew up the opening and truss the animal; that is, draw the
hind legs forwards and bend the front legs backwards under the body, and
skewer and tie them into place.
With the animal in this shape, wipe it off with a damp cloth, dredge it
with flour, and place it in a dripping pan, adding 1 cupful of boiling
water in which 1 teaspoonful of salt has been dissolved. Roast in a
moderate oven for at least 1-1/2 hours, or 20 minutes for each pound of
pig. Baste frequently, first with butter and water and later with
drippings. When the skin begins to brown slightly, rub over it a clean
piece of cloth dipped in melted butter. Repeat this operation every 10
minutes until the meat is well done. Then remove the pig to a hot
platter and garnish with parsley, lettuce, celery, or fried or baked
apples. If a more ornamental garnishing is desired, place a lemon in the
mouth and use cranberries for the eyes. In carving, cut the head off,
split through the spine lengthwise, remove the legs, and cut the ribs so
as to form chops.
60. SAUTÉD OR BROILED PORK.--Slices cut from the ribs and loin of pork
are called chops, and those obtained from the shoulder and hind legs are
called steaks. These, together with the tenderloin, the small piece of
lean, tender meat lying under the bones of the loin and seldom weighing
more than a pound, are especially suitable for sautéing or broiling.
When they are to be prepared by these processes, sauté or broil them as
any other meat, remembering, however, that pork must be well done.
Because of this fact, a more moderate temperature must be employed than
that used for beefsteak.
61. PORK CHOPS IN TOMATO SAUCE.--A slight change from the usual way of
preparing pork chops can be had by cooking them with tomatoes. The
combination of these two foods produces a dish having a very
First brown the chops in their own fat in a frying pan, turning them
frequently so that the surfaces will become evenly browned. When they
have cooked for 15 minutes, pour enough strained stewed tomatoes over
them to cover them well, and season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan
tight, and allow them to simmer until the tomatoes become quite thick.
Place the chops on a hot platter, pour the tomato sauce over them, and
62. SAUTÉD TENDERLOIN OF PORK.--Since the tenderloin of pork is a very
tender piece of meat, it needs no accompaniment to make it a delicious
dish, but sometimes a change of preparation is welcomed in order to give
variety to the diet. The accompanying directions should therefore be
followed when something different from broiled tenderloin is desired.
Cut the tenderloin into lengthwise slices and brown these slices in
melted butter, turning them several times. Then remove to a cooler part
of the stove, and let them cook slowly in the butter for 15 minutes,
taking care to have them closely covered and turning them once or twice
so that they will cook evenly. At the end of this time, pour enough milk
or cream in the pan to cover the meat well and cook for 15 minutes
longer. With a skimmer, remove the meat, which should be very tender by
this time, from the pan, and put it where it will keep hot. Make a gravy
of the drippings that remain in the pan by thickening it with 1
tablespoonful of flour, stirring it until it is thick and smooth and
seasoning it to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the gravy over the meat
and serve hot.
63. PORK SAUSAGE.--The trimmings and some of the internal organs of pork
are generally utilized to make sausage by chopping them very fine and
then highly seasoning the chopped meat. Pork in this form may be bought
fresh or smoked and loose or in casings. It usually contains
considerable fat and therefore shrinks upon being cooked, for the fat is
melted by the heat and runs out of the sausage.
To cook pork sausages put up in casings, place the required number in a
hot frying pan with a small quantity of hot water. Cover the pan with a
lid and allow the sausages to cook. When they have swelled up and the
skins, or casings, look as if they would burst, remove the cover and
thoroughly prick each one with a sharp fork, so as to allow the fat and
the water to run out. Then allow the water to evaporate and sauté the
sausages in their own fat, turning them frequently until they are
To cook loose pork sausage, shape it into thin, flat cakes. Grease a
frying pan slightly, in order to keep the cakes from sticking to the
surface, place the cakes in the pan, and allow them to cook in the fat
that fries out, turning them occasionally until both sides are
CURED PORK AND ITS PREPARATION
64. Under the heading of cured pork may be included many of the cuts of
pork, for a large part of a pork carcass can be preserved by curing.
However, this term is usually restricted to include salt pork, bacon,
and ham. As has already been learned, salt pork is obtained from the
belly; bacon, from the middle cut; and ham, from the two hind legs
65. SALT PORK.--As the cut used for salt pork is almost entirely fat,
this piece is seldom used alone for the table. Occasionally, it is
broiled to be served with some special food, such as fried apples, but
for the most part it is used for _larding_; that is, slices of it are
laid across the surface of meat and fish that are lacking in fat and
that therefore cook better and have a more agreeable flavor when fat in
some form is added. Pork of this kind is usually bought by the pound and
then sliced by the housewife as it is needed for cooking purposes.
[Illustration: FIG. 22]
66. BACON.--The middle cut of pork, upon being cured by smoking, is
regarded as bacon. It is sometimes used for larding purposes, but as it
contains more lean than salt pork, has a very pleasing flavor, and is
the most easily digested fat known, it is much used for food. A piece
that contains the usual proportion of fat and lean is shown in Fig. 22.
The strip of fat that occurs between the rind, or outer coat, and the
first layer of lean is the firmest and the best for larding. The fat
that fries out of bacon is excellent for use in the cooking and
seasoning of other foods, such as vegetables and meats. When bacon is
cooked for the table, its flavor will be improved if it is broiled
rather than fried in its own fat. The rind of bacon should, as a rule,
be trimmed off, but it should never be wasted, for it may be used to
grease a pancake griddle or any pan in which food is to be cooked,
provided the bacon flavor will not be objectionable.
In purchasing bacon, it is usually more economical to buy the whole
side, or the entire middle cut, but if smaller quantities are desired,
any amount, either in one piece or in slices, may be bought. The
commercially cut bacon, which is very thin and becomes very crisp in its
preparation, may be bought with the rind retained or removed. In both of
these forms, it is often put up in jars or packed neatly in flat
pasteboard boxes. While such bacon is undoubtedly the most popular kind,
it should be remembered that the more preparation that is put on such a
food before it enters the home, the more expensive it becomes. Very
satisfactory results can be obtained from bacon bought in the piece if
care is used in cutting it. To secure very thin, even slices, a knife
having a thin blade that is kept sharp and in good condition should
always be used.
67. BACON AND EGGS.--There are many combinations in which bacon is one
of the foods, but no more palatable one can be found than bacon and
eggs. This is generally a breakfast dish; still there is no reason why
it cannot be used at times for luncheon or supper to give variety.
To prepare this combination of foods, first pan-broil the desired number
of slices of bacon in a hot frying pan until they are crisp and then
remove them to a warm platter. Into the fat that has fried out of the
bacon, put the required number of eggs, which have first been broken
into a saucer. Fry them until they reach the desired degree of hardness,
and then remove to the platter containing the bacon. Serve by placing a
slice or two of bacon on the plate with each egg.
68. BACON COMBINED WITH OTHER FOODS.--Many other foods may be fried in
the same way as eggs and served with bacon. For instance, sliced apples
or sliced tomatoes fried in bacon fat until they become tender, but not
mushy, are delicious when served with crisp pieces of bacon. Also, cold
cereals, such as cream of wheat, oatmeal, corn-meal mush, etc., may be
sliced and fried until crisp and then served with bacon.
69. HAM.--The hind leg of pork, when cured and smoked, is usually known
as ham. Fig. 23 shows a ham from which the rind has not been removed. In
such a ham, the proportion of fat and lean is about right, but when ham
is bought with the rind removed, much of the fat is also taken off. The
best hams weigh from 8 to 15 pounds, and have a thin skin, solid fat,
and a small, short tapering leg or shank.
Several ways of cooking ham are in practice. Very often slices
resembling slices of round steak are cut from the whole ham and then
fried or broiled. If a larger quantity is desired, the entire ham or a
thick cut may be purchased. This is boiled or baked and then served hot
or cold. It is a good idea to purchase an entire ham and keep it in
supply, cutting off slices as they are desired. In such an event, the
ham should be kept carefully wrapped and should be hung in a cool, dry
place. In cutting a ham, begin at the large end, as in Fig. 23, and cut
off slices until the opposite end becomes too small to make good slices.
The piece that remains may be cooked with vegetables, may be boiled and
served either hot or cold, or, if it is only a small piece, may be used
for making soup.
[Illustration: FIG. 23]
70. BROILED HAM.--The methods of broiling and pan broiling are very
satisfactory when applied to ham that is cut in slices. Ham is
pan-broiled in the same way as other meats. To broil ham, place slices 1
inch thick on the hot broiler rack and sear quickly on both sides. Then
reduce the temperature and broil for 15 to 18 minutes, turning the ham
every few minutes until done. Remove to a hot platter. Add a little
water to the drippings in the broiler pan, pour this over the meat, and
serve at once.
71. HAM BAKED IN MILK.--A change from the usual ways of preparing
slices of ham can be had by baking them in milk. A point to remember in
carrying out this method is that the meat must bake slowly in order to
be tender when it is done.
Secure a 2-inch slice of ham, place it in a dripping pan, and completely
cover it with milk. Put in a moderate oven and cook for 2 or more hours.
When the ham is done, its surface should be brown and the milk should be
almost entirely evaporated. If the liquid added in the beginning is not
sufficient, more may be added during the baking.
72. BOILED HAM.--Sometimes it is desired to cook an entire ham,
particularly when a large number of persons are to be served. The usual
way to prepare a whole ham is to boil it. When it is sufficiently
cooked, it may be served hot or kept until it is cold and then served in
slices. Nothing is more appetizing for a light meal, as luncheon or
supper, or for picnic lunches than cold sliced ham. Then, too, boiled
ham is very delicious when it is fried until the edges are crisp.
To prepare boiled ham, first soak the ham in cold water for several
hours and then remove it and scrub it. Place it in a large kettle with
the fat side down and cover well with cold water. Put over a slow fire
and allow to come to the boiling point very slowly. Boil for 15 minutes
and skim off the scum that has risen. Simmer slowly for about 5 hours,
or at least 25 minutes for each pound of ham. Take from the kettle and
remove the skin about two-thirds of the way back. It will be found that
the skin will peel off easily when the ham is cooked enough. Garnish in
any desirable way and serve hot or cold.
73. BAKED HAM.--Another very appetizing way in which to cook an entire
ham is to bake it. This involves both cooking in water on the top of the
stove and baking in the oven. While this recipe, as well as those
preceding, specifies ham, it should be remembered that shoulder may be
cooked in the same ways.
For baked ham, proceed in the way just explained for boiled ham, but
boil only 12 minutes for each pound. Take the ham from the kettle and
allow it to cool enough to permit it to be handled. Remove the skin.
Then place the ham in a roasting pan and pour over it 1 cupful of water.
Bake 12 minutes for each pound and baste frequently while baking. Serve
hot or cold.
PREPARATION OP LEFT-OVER PORK
74. COLD PORK WITH FRIED APPLES.--A combination that most persons find
agreeable and that enables the housewife to use up left-over pork, is
cold pork and fried apples. To prepare this dish, remove the cores from
sour apples and cut the apples into 1/2-inch slices. Put these in a
frying pan containing hot bacon fat and fry until soft and well browned.
Slice cold pork thin and place in the center of a platter. Arrange the
apples around the pork in a border.
75. SCALLOPED PORK AND CABBAGE.--If not enough pork remains to serve
alone, it can be combined with cabbage to make a most appetizing
scalloped dish. The accompanying recipe shows just how to prepare such
SCALLOPED PORK AND CABBAGE
(Sufficient to Serve Six)
2 c. small thin slices of pork
1-1/2 c. cooked chopped cabbage
1-1/2 c. thin white sauce
1/4 c. buttered crumbs
Arrange the pork and cabbage in layers in a baking dish, having a layer
of cabbage on top. Pour the white sauce over all and sprinkle the crumbs
on top. Bake until the sauce boils and the crumbs are brown.
76. MOCK CHICKEN SALAD.--The similarity in appearance of pork to chicken
makes it possible to prepare a salad of cold pork that is a very good
substitute for chicken salad. A salad of this kind can be used as the
main dish in such a meal as luncheon or supper.
MOCK CHICKEN SALAD
(Sufficient to Serve Six)
4 Tb. vinegar
2 c. diced pork
1-1/2 c. diced celery
Heat the vinegar and pour it over the diced pork. Set aside to chill.
When ready to serve, add the diced celery and mix well. Pour the salad
dressing over all and serve on crisp lettuce leaves.
SERVING AND CARVING OF MEAT
77. The manner of carving and serving meat in the home depends to some
extent on the kind of meat that is to be served. A way that is favored
by some is to carve the meat before it is placed on the table and then
serve it according to the style of service used. However, the preferable
way is to place the platter containing the meat on the table, together
with the plates, in front of the person who is to do the carving
The carver should use considerable care in cutting and serving the meat
so that the platter and the surrounding tablecloth will not become
unsightly. To make each portion as attractive as possible, it should be
cut off evenly and then placed on the plate with the best side up.
Furthermore, the carving should be done in an economical way in order
that whatever remains after the first serving may be served later in the
same meal, and what is not eaten at the first meal may be utilized to
advantage for another. To obtain the best results in carving, a good
carving knife should be secured and it should always be kept well
78. With the general directions clear in mind, the methods of carving
and serving particular kinds of meat may be taken up. Chops, of course,
require no carving. By means of a large fork, one should be placed on
each person's plate. Steaks and roasts, however, need proper cutting in
order that equally good pieces may be served to each person dining. To
carve a steak properly, cut it across from side to side so that each
piece will contain a portion of the tender part, as well as a share of
the tougher part. When cut, the pieces should be strips that are about
as wide as the steak is thick. It is often advisable to remove the bone
from some steaks before placing them on the table.
79. Roasts require somewhat more attention than steaks. Before they are
placed on the table, any cord used for tying should be cut and removed
and all skewers inserted to hold the meat in shape should be pulled out.
To carve a roast of any kind, run the fork into the meat deeply enough
to hold it firmly and then cut the meat into thin slices across the
grain. In the case of a roast leg that contains the bone, begin to carve
the meat from the large end, cutting each slice down to the bone and
then off so that the bone is left clean. Place round of beef and rolled
roasts on the platter so that the tissue side, and not the skin side, is
up, and then cut the slices off in a horizontal direction. To carve a
rib roast properly, cut it parallel with the ribs and separate the
pieces from the backbone.
SAUSAGES AND MEAT PREPARATIONS
80. In addition to the fresh, raw meats that the housewife can procure
for her family, there are on the market numerous varieties of raw,
smoked, cooked, and partly cooked meats, which are generally included
under the term SAUSAGES. These meats are usually highly seasoned, so
they keep better than do fresh meats. They should not be overlooked by
the housewife, for they help to simplify her labor and at the same time
serve to give variety to the family diet. Still, it should be remembered
that when meats are made ready for use before they are put on the
market, the cost of the labor involved in their manufacture is added to
the price charged for them. For this reason, the housewife must be
prepared to pay more for meats of this kind than she would pay if she
could prepare them at home. However, she need not be concerned regarding
their safety, for the government's inspection and regulations prevent
any adulteration of them.
81. Among the numerous varieties of these meats, many of them are
typical of certain localities, while others have a national or an
international reputation. They also vary in the kind of meat used to
make them. Some of them are made from beef, as _frankfurters_ and
certain kinds of _bologna_, while others are made from pork and include
the smoked and unsmoked sausages, _Liverwurst_ is made from the livers
of certain animals, and may be purchased loose or in skins.
Some of these sausages are used so often in certain combinations of
foods that they are usually thought of in connection with the foods that
it is customary for them to accompany. Frankfurters and sauerkraut, pork
sausage and mashed potatoes, liverwurst and fried corn-meal mush are
well-known combinations of this kind.
82. Closely allied to these sausages, although not one of them, is a
meat preparation much used in some localities and known as _scrapple_,
or _ponhasse_. This is prepared by cooking the head of pork, removing
the meat from the bones, and chopping it very fine. The pieces of meat
are then returned to the broth in which the head was cooked and enough
corn meal to thicken the liquid is stirred in. After the whole has
boiled sufficiently, it is turned into molds and allowed to harden. When
it is cold and hard, it can be cut into slices, which are sautéd in
83. Besides scrapple, numerous other meat preparations, such as _meat
loaves_ of various kinds and _pickled pig's feet_, can usually be
obtained in the market. While the thrifty housewife does not make a
habit of purchasing meats of this kind regularly, there are times when
they are a great convenience and also afford an opportunity to vary
* * * * *
PREPARATION OF FOODS BY DEEP-FAT FRYING
PRINCIPLES OF DEEP-FAT FRYING
84. Up to this point, all frying of foods has been done by sautéing
them; that is, frying them quickly in a small amount of fat. The other
method of frying, which involves cooking food quickly in deep fat at a
temperature of 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, is used so frequently in
the preparation of many excellent meat dishes, particularly in the use
of left-overs, that specific directions for it are here given, together
with several recipes that afford practice in its use. No difficulty will
be experienced in applying this method to these recipes or to other
recipes if the underlying principles of deep-fat frying are thoroughly
understood and the proper utensils for this work are secured.
85. In the first place, it should be remembered that if foods prepared
in this way are properly done, they are not so indigestible as they are
oftentimes supposed to be, but that incorrect preparation makes for
indigestibility in the finished product. For instance, allowing the food
to soak up quantities of fat during the frying is neither economical nor
conducive to a digestible dish. To avoid such a condition, it is
necessary that the mixture to be fried be made of the proper materials
and be prepared in the right way. One of the chief requirements is that
the surface of the mixture be properly coated with a protein material,
such as egg or egg and milk, before it is put into the fat or that the
mixture contain the correct proportion of egg so that its outside
surface will accomplish the same purpose. The reason for this
requirement is that the protein material is quickly coagulated by the
hot fat and thus prevents the entrance of fat into the inside material
of the fried food.
Care must be taken also in the selection of the fat that is used for
deep-fat frying. This may be in the form of an oil or a solid fat and
may be either a vegetable or an animal fat. However, a vegetable fat is
usually preferred, as less smoke results from it and less flavor of the
fat remains in the food after it is cooked.
[Illustration: Fig. 24]
86. The utensils required for deep-fat frying are shown in Fig. 24. They
consist of a wire basket and a pan into which the basket will fit. As
will be observed, the pan in which the fat is put has an upright metal
piece on the side opposite the handle. Over this fits a piece of wire
with which the basket is equipped and which is attached to the side
opposite the handle of the basket. This arrangement makes it possible to
drain the fat from whatever food has been fried without having to hold
the basket over the pan.
APPLICATION OF DEEP-FAT FRYING
87. With the principles of deep-fat frying well in mind, the actual work
of frying foods by this method may be taken up. Numerous foods and
preparations may be subjected to this form of cookery, but attention is
given at this time to only croquettes and timbale cases. _Croquettes_
are small balls or patties usually made of some finely minced food and
fried until brown. _Timbale cases_ are shells in which various creamed
foods are served. As these two preparations are representative of the
various dishes that can be cooked by frying in deep fat, the directions
given for these, if carefully mastered, may be applied to many
88. FRYING OF CROQUETTES.--After the mixture that is to be fried has
been prepared, and while the croquettes are being shaped, have the fat
heating in the deep pan, as in Fig. 24. Before the food is immersed,
test the temperature of the fat in the manner shown in Fig. 25, to make
sure that it is hot enough. To do this, put a 1/2-inch cube of bread in
the hot fat and keep it there for 40 seconds. If at the end of this time
it is a golden brown, it may be known that the fat is sufficiently hot
for any mixture. Be careful to regulate the heat so as to keep the fat
as near this temperature as possible, for it should be remembered that
each time a cold food is immersed in hot fat, the temperature is
lowered. Usually, a few minutes' frying is necessary to assure this
regulation of the temperature.
[Illustration: Fig. 25]
As soon as the correct temperature is reached, put several of the
croquettes in the basket and set the basket in the pan of hot fat so
that the croquettes are entirely covered. Fry until a good brown color
is secured. Then lift the basket out of the fat and allow it to drain
until all the fat possible has dripped from it. Finally remove the
croquettes from the basket and place them on any kind of paper that will
absorb the excessive fat. Serve at once or keep hot until ready
89. VEAL CROQUETTES.--Veal that remains from a roast after it has been
served once can be utilized in no better way than in the making of
croquettes; or, if desired, veal may be cooked especially for this
purpose. When such croquettes are served with a sauce of any desirable
kind, such as white sauce or tomato sauce, or with left-over gravy, no
more appetizing dish can be found.
(Sufficient to Serve Six)
2 c. cold ground veal
1 c. thick white sauce
2 Tb. chopped onion
1 Tb. chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
Mix the ground veal with the white sauce, add the onion and parsley, and
salt and pepper to taste. Shape into oblong croquettes. Roll first in
the beaten egg, which, if necessary, may be increased by the addition of
a little milk, and then in the crumbs. Fry in deep fat until a golden
brown. Serve with or without sauce.
90. SWEETBREAD CROQUETTES.--An extremely palatable dish can be made by
frying in deep fat sweetbreads cut any desirable shape and size. These
are usually served with a vegetable, and often a sauce of some kind is
served over both.
To prepare the sweetbreads, parboil them according to the directions
given in Art. 17. Cut them into the kind of pieces desired, sprinkle the
pieces with salt and pepper, and dip them into beaten egg and then into
crumbs. Fry in deep fat and serve with a vegetable or a sauce or both.
91. RICE-AND-MEAT PATTIES.--Sometimes not enough meat remains after a
meal to make a tasty dish by itself. In such a case, it should be
combined with some other food, especially a starchy one, so as to extend
its flavor and produce a dish that approaches nearer a balanced ration
than meat alone does. A small amount of any kind of meat combined with
rice and the mixture then formed into patties, or croquettes, provides
both an appetizing and a nutritious dish.
(Sufficient to Serve Six)
1 c. finely chopped left-over meat
1 c. cold steamed rice
1/2 c. thick white sauce
1 Tb. chopped onion
1 tsp. celery salt
Salt and pepper
Mix the meat and rice, stir into them the white sauce, onion, and celery
salt, and salt and pepper to taste. Shape into croquettes, or patties;
roll first in the egg and then in the crumbs. Fry in deep fat until
golden brown and serve with any desirable sauce.
[Illustration: FIG. 26]
92. TIMBALE CASES.--Such foods as creamed sweetbreads, creamed
sweetbreads and mushrooms, and other delicate foods that are served in
small quantities can be made very attractive by serving them in timbale
cases. These are made out of a batter by means of a timbale iron and
fried in deep fat until brown. In serving them, place them either on a
small plate or on the dinner plate with the rest of the dinner. To make
them especially attractive, dip the edge into egg white and then into
very finely chopped parsley. Fig. 26 shows creamed sweetbreads served in
a timbale case.
[Illustration: FIG. 27]
93. To prepare timbale cases, a _timbale iron_, such as is shown in Fig.
27, is required. Such an iron consists of a fluted piece of metal that
is either solid or hollow and that has attached to it a handle long
enough to keep the hand sufficiently far away from the hot fat.
The batter required for timbale cases and the directions for combining
them are as follows:
(Sufficient to Make Twenty)
1/2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
3/4 c. flour
Beat the egg with a fork just enough to break it up thoroughly. Add the
milk, salt, and sugar. Stir in the flour with as little beating as
possible. After preparing this mixture, allow it to stand for 1/2 hour,
so that any air it contains in the form of bubbles may escape and thus
prevent the formation of holes and bubbles in the finished
[Illustration: Fig. 28]
When about to use the batter, pour it into a cup or some other small
utensil that is just large enough to admit the iron easily. The iron
must be nearly covered with batter, but a large amount of it will not be
needed if a small utensil is used. Place the iron in the hot fat, as
shown in Fig. 27, until it is hot, or for about 4 minutes. Then let it
drip and place it in the batter, as in Fig. 28, being careful not to
permit the batter to come quite to the top of the iron, and remove it at
once. Place it immediately into the hot fat, as in Fig. 29, allowing the
fat to come higher on the iron than the batter does. This precaution
will prevent the formation of a ridge of bubbles around the top of the
timbale case. Fry in the deep fat until the case is nicely browned, as
shown in Fig. 26. Remove the iron from the fat, and allow it to drip.
Then carefully remove the timbale case from the iron with a fork and
place it on paper that will absorb the fat.
[Illustration: Fig. 29]
If your timbales are soft instead of crisp, you will know that the
mixture is too thick and should be diluted. Too hot or too cold an iron
will prevent the mixture from sticking to it.
MEAT (PART 2)
(1) (_a_) What is veal? (_b_) From animals of what age is the best veal
(2) Compare veal and beef as to characteristics.
(3) What cuts of veal are most suitable for: (_a_) roasts? (_b_)
cutlets? (_c_) soup and stews? (_d_) chops?
(4) (_a_) What organs of veal are used for foods? (_b_) What are
(5) (_a_) Why is veal more indigestible than beef? (_b_) What important
point must be remembered concerning the cooking of veal?
(6) (_a_) What substance in veal is utilized in the preparation of
jellied veal? (_b_) Explain how this dish is prepared.
(7) (_a_) At what age is sheep sold as lamb? (_b_) How do lamb and
mutton differ as to food substances?
(8) Compare the flesh of lamb and mutton as to appearance.
(9) As they apply to lamb and mutton, explain the terms: (_a_) rack;
(10) Explain why some cuts of lamb and mutton are tough and others
(11) What is: (_a_) a crown roast of lamb? (_b_) a French chop?
(12) (_a_) Describe pork of the best kind. (_b_) Why is the food value
of pork higher than that of other meats?
(13) (_a_) Name the cuts of pork. (_b_) What is meant by leaf lard?
(14) What important points must be taken into consideration in the
cooking of pork?
(15) (_a_) Name some of the accompaniments that are usually served with
pork. (_b_) What is the purpose of these accompaniments?
(16) (_a_) For what purpose is salt pork generally used? (_b_) What is
bacon? (_c_) To what uses is bacon put?
(17) (_a_) Give the general directions for the carving and serving of
meat. (_b_) Explain how to carve and serve a steak.
(18) (_a_) What is meant by deep-fat frying? (_b_) Why must a food that
is to be fried in deep fat contain or be coated with a protein material?
(19) (_a_) What utensils are necessary for deep-fat frying? (_b_)
Explain the procedure in frying croquettes in deep fat.
(20) (_a_) For what purpose are timbale cases used? (_b_) Explain how to
make a batter for timbale cases.
Select a cut of beef that you consider most desirable from an economical
standpoint. Buy a quantity that may be used to the greatest advantage
for your family. Prepare it in any way you desire.
State the number of pounds purchased, the price of the meat, the number
of meals in which it was served, and the number of persons (tell how
many adults and how many children) served at each meal. Estimate the
cost of each portion by dividing the cost of the whole by the number of
Make up an original dish in which left-over meat is used and submit the
recipe to us.
* * * * *
* * * * *
POULTRY AS A FOOD
1. POULTRY is the term used to designate birds that have been
domesticated, or brought under the control of man, for two purposes,
namely, the eggs they produce and the flesh food they supply. All the
common species of domestic fowls--chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys,
guinea fowls, and pigeons--are known as poultry. However, none of these
species is included under this term unless it is raised for at least one
of the two purposes mentioned. As the term is to be understood in this
Section, poultry includes all domestic fowls that are killed in order
that their flesh may be cooked and used as food for human beings. Of
course, many wild birds are killed for the flesh food they furnish, but
they are classed under the term _game_.
2. Poultry is probably never a necessity in the ordinary dietary, and
when prices are high it is a decided luxury. Still it does aid
materially in relieving the monotony of the usual protein foods, and it
supplies that "something out of the ordinary" for special occasions.
Then, too, it is often valuable in the diet of an invalid or some person
with a poor appetite. Poultry is, of course, used more in some homes
than in others; yet there is scarcely a home in which it is not served
some time or another. A knowledge of this food and its preparation and
serving will therefore prove to be a valuable asset to any housewife.
3. To arrive at a knowledge of the use of poultry as a food, the
housewife must necessarily become familiar with its selection and
purchase. Then she must give attention to both its preparation for
cooking and its actual cooking, and, finally, to its serving. In all
these matters she will do well to adhere to the practice of economy,
for, at best, poultry is usually an expensive food. Before entering into
these matters in detail, however, it will be well to look into them in a
4. In the selection of poultry, the housewife should realize that
poultry breeders have so developed certain breeds, even of the same
species, that they are better for table use than others. The flesh of
any breed of poultry may be improved by feeding the birds good food and
giving them proper care; and it is by applying these principles that the
breeders are enabled to better the quality of this food. Other things
also influence the quality of poultry flesh as food, as, for example,
the way in which the poultry is prepared for market and the care it
receives in transportation and storage. Unless these are as they should
be, they have a detrimental effect on poultry, because such food is
It is possible to exercise economy in the purchase of poultry, but
before the housewife can do this she must be able to judge the age of
each kind she may desire. On the age depends to a great extent the
method of cookery to be followed in preparing the poultry for the table.
Likewise, she must know the marks of cold-storage poultry, as well as
those of poultry that is freshly killed; and she must be familiar with
the first marks of deterioration, or decay, that result from storing the
food too long or improperly.
Economy may also be practiced in preparing poultry for cooking. To bring
this about, however, the housewife should realize that the best method
of preparing any kind of poultry for cooking is always the most
economical. It means, too, that she should understand thoroughly the
methods of drawing and cutting, so that she may either do this work
herself or direct it.
The way in which poultry is cooked has a bearing on the cost of this
food, too. For example, a young, tender bird prepared by a wrong method
not only is a good dish spoiled, but is a waste of expensive material.
Likewise, an older bird, which has more flavor but tougher tissues, is
almost impossible as food if it is not properly prepared. Both kinds
make appetizing dishes and do not result in waste if correct methods of
cooking are followed in their preparation.
Even the way in which poultry is served has a bearing on the cost of
this food. For this reason, it is necessary to know how to carve, as
well as how to utilize any of this food that may be left over, if the
housewife is to get the most out of her investment.
* * * * *
SELECTION OF POULTRY
5. The selection of any kind of poultry to be used as food is a matter
that should not be left to the butcher. Rather, it should be done by
some one who understands the purpose for which the poultry is to be
used, and, in the home, this is a duty that usually falls to the
housewife. There are a number of general facts about poultry, and a
knowledge of them will assist the housewife greatly in performing
6. CLASSIFICATION OF POULTRY.--Poultry breeders and dealers divide the
domestic fowls into three classes. In the first class are included those
which have combs, such as chickens, turkeys, and guinea fowls. Quails
and pheasants belong to this class also, but they are very seldom
domesticated. The birds in this class are distinguished by two kinds of
tissue--light meat on the breast and dark meat on the other parts of the
body. In the second class are included those fowls which swim, such as
ducks and geese. These are characterized by web feet and long thick
bills, and their meat is more nearly the same color over the entire
body. The third class is comprised of birds that belong to the family of
doves. Pigeons, which are called _squabs_ when used as food, are the
only domesticated birds of this class. They stand between the other two
classes with respect to their flesh, which has some difference in color
between the breast and other muscles, but not so much as chicken and
other fowls of the first class.
7. INFLUENCE OF FEEDING AND CARE ON QUALITY.--To some extent, the breed
affects the quality of poultry as food; still this is a far less
important matter than a number of things that the purchaser is better
able to judge. Among the factors that greatly influence the quality are
the feeding and care that the birds receive up to the time of slaughter.
These affect not only the flavor and the tenderness of the tissue, as
well as the quantity of tissue in proportion to bone, but also the
healthfulness of the birds themselves. To keep the birds in good health
and to build up sufficient flesh to make them plump, with as much meat
as possible on the bones and a fair amount of fat as well, the food they
get must be clean and of the right kind. Likewise, the housing
conditions must be such that the birds are kept dry and sufficiently
warm. The living space, also, must be adequate for the number that are
raised. Domestic fowls are not discriminating as to their food, and when
they are forced to live in dirt and filth they will eat more or less of
it and thus injure the quality of their flesh. Poultry that comes into
the market looking drawn and thin, with blue-looking flesh and no fat,
shows evidence of having had poor living conditions and inadequate
feeding. Such poultry will be found to have a less satisfactory flavor
than that which has received proper care.
8. EFFECT OF SEX ON QUALITY.--When birds of any kind are young, sex has
very little to do with the quality of the flesh. But as they grow older
the flesh of males develops a stronger flavor than that of females of
the same age and also becomes tougher. However, when birds, with the
exception of mature ones, are dressed, it would take an expert to
determine the sex. The mature male is less plump than the female, and it
is more likely to be scrawny. Likewise, its spurs are larger and its
bones are large in proportion to the amount of flesh on them.
Very often the reproductive organs of young males are removed, and the
birds are then called _capons_. As the capon grows to maturity, it
develops more of the qualities of the hen. Its body becomes plump
instead of angular, the quality of its flesh is much better than that of
the cock, and the quantity of flesh in proportion to bone is much
greater. In fact, the weight of a capon's edible flesh is much greater
than that of either a hen or a cock. In the market, a dressed capon can
usually be told by the long tail and wing feathers that are left on, as
well as by a ring of feathers around the neck. Female birds that are
spayed are called _poulards_. Spaying, or removing the reproductive
organs, of female birds, however, makes so little improvement that it is
9. PREPARATION OF POULTRY FOR MARKET.--The manner in which poultry is
prepared for market has a great bearing on its quality as food. In some
cases, the preparation falls to the producer, and often, when birds are
raised in quantities, they are sold alive and dressed by the butcher.
However, poultry that is to be shipped long distances and in large
quantities or stored for long periods of time is usually prepared at a
slaughtering place. This process of slaughtering and shipping requires
great care, for if attention is not given to details, the poultry will
be in a state of deterioration when it reaches the consumer and
therefore unfit for food.
In order to avoid the deterioration of poultry that is slaughtered some
distance from the place of its consumption, each bird is well fed up to
within 24 hours before it is killed. Then it is starved so that its
alimentary tract will be as empty as possible at the time of killing.
Such birds are killed by cutting the large blood vessel running up to
the head. When properly done, this method of killing allows almost all
the blood to be drained from the body and the keeping qualities are much
improved. At practically the same time, the brain is pierced by the
knife thrust, and as soon as the bleeding commences the fowl becomes
paralyzed. As the tissues relax, the feathers may be pulled easily from
the skin without immersing the bird in hot water. This method of
plucking, known as _dry plucking_, is preferable when the skin must be
kept intact and the poultry kept for any length of time. The head and
feet are left on and the entrails are not removed. The poultry is then
chilled to the freezing point, but not below it, after which the birds
are packed ten in a box and shipped to the market in refrigerator cars
or placed in cold storage. Unless the poultry is to be cooked
immediately after slaughter, such measures are absolutely necessary, as
its flesh is perishable and will not remain in good condition for a long
period of time.
10. COLD-STORAGE POULTRY.--Poultry that has been properly raised,
killed, transported, and stored is very likely to come into the market
in such condition that it cannot be readily distinguished from freshly
killed birds. When exposed to warmer temperatures, however, storage
poultry spoils much more quickly than does fresh poultry. For this
reason, if there is any evidence that poultry has been in storage, it
should be cooked as soon as possible after purchase.
There are really two kinds of cold-storage poultry: that which is kept
at a temperature just above freezing and delivered within a few weeks
after slaughtering, and that which is frozen and kept in storage a much
longer time. When properly cared for, either one is preferable to
freshly killed poultry that is of poor quality or has had a chance to
spoil. Poultry that has been frozen must be thawed carefully. It should
be first placed in a refrigerator and allowed to thaw to that
temperature before it is placed in a warmer one. It should never be
thawed by putting it into warm water. Thawing it in this way really
helps it to decompose.
A sure indication of cold-storage poultry is the pinched look it
possesses, a condition brought about by packing the birds tightly
against one another. Storage poultry usually has the head and feet left
on and its entrails are not removed. Indeed, it has been determined by
experiment that poultry will keep better if these precautions are
observed. The removal of the entrails seems to affect the internal
cavity of the bird so that it does not keep well, and as a matter of
safety it should be cooked quickly after this has been done in the home.
SELECTION OF CHICKEN
11. To be able to select chicken properly, the housewife must be
familiar with the terms that are applied to chickens to designate their
age or the cookery process for which they are most suitable. _Chicken_
is a general name for all varieties of this kind of poultry, but in its
specific use it means a common domestic fowl that is less than 1 year
old. _Fowl_ is also a general term; but in its restricted use in cookery
it refers to the full-grown domestic hen or cock over 1 year of age, as
distinguished from the chicken or pullet. A _broiler_ is chicken from 2
to 4 months old which, because of its tenderness, is suitable for
broiling. A _frying chicken_ is at least 6 months old, and a _roasting
chicken_ is between 6 months and 1 year old. With these terms
understood, it can readily be seen that if fried chicken is desired a
2-year-old fowl would not be a wise purchase.
The quality of the bird is the next consideration in the selection of
chicken. A number of things have a bearing on the quality. Among these,
as has already been pointed out, are the feeding and care that the bird
has received during its growth, the way in which it has been prepared
for market, and so on. All of these things may be determined by careful
observation before making a purchase. However, if the bird is drawn, and
especially if the head and feet are removed, there is less chance to
determine these things accurately.
[Illustration: FIG. 1]
12. GENERAL MARKS OF GOOD QUALITY.--A chicken older than a broiler that
has been plucked should not be scrawny nor drawn looking like that shown
in Fig. 1, nor should the flesh have a blue tinge that shows through the
skin. Rather, it should be plump and well rounded like the one shown in
Fig. 2. There should be a sufficient amount of fat to give a rich,
yellow color. It should be plucked clean, and the skin should be clear
and of an even color over the entire bird. Tender, easily broken skin
indicates a young bird; tougher skin indicates an older one. The skin
should be whole and unbroken; likewise, when pressed with the fingers,
it should be neither flabby nor stiff, but pliable.
[Illustration: FIG. 2]
13. The increase of age in a chicken is to some extent an advantage,
because with age there is an increase in flavor. Thus, a year-old
chicken will have more flavor than a broiler. However, after more than
a year, the flavor increases to such an extent that it becomes strong
and disagreeable. With the advance of age there is also a loss of
tenderness in the flesh, and this after 1-1/2 or 2 years becomes so
extreme as to render the bird almost unfit for use. As the age of a
chicken increases, the proportion of flesh to bone also increases up to
the complete maturity of the bird. Hence, one large bird is a more
economical purchase than two small ones that equal its weight, because
the proportion of bone to flesh is less in the large bird than in the
14. DETERMINING THE AGE OF CHICKEN.--An excellent way in which to
determine the age of a chicken that has been dressed consists in feeling
of the breast bone at the point where it protrudes below the neck. In a
very young chicken, a broiler, for instance, the point of this bone will
feel like cartilage, which is firm, elastic tissue, and may be very
easily bent. If the bird is about a year old, the bone will be brittle,
and in a very old one it will be hard and will not bend.
15. If the head has been left on, the condition of the beak is a means
of determining age. In a young chicken, it will be smooth and unmarred;
in an old one, it will be rough and probably darker in color. If the
feet have been left on, they too will serve to indicate the age. The
feet of a young chicken are smooth and soft; whereas, those of an old
bird are rough, hard, and scaly. The claws of a young one are short and
sharp; but as the bird grows older they grow stronger and become blunt
and marred with use. The spur, which is a projection just above the foot
on the back of each leg, is small in the young chicken, and increases in
size as the age increases. However, the spurs are more pronounced in
males than in females.
16. Another way of telling the age of dressed chicken is to observe the
skin. After plucking, young birds usually have some pin feathers left in
the skin. _Pin feathers_ are small unformed feathers that do not pull
out with the larger ones. Older birds are usually free from pin
feathers, but have occasional long hairs remaining in the skin after the
feathers have been plucked. These do not pull out readily and must be
singed off when the chicken is being prepared for cooking.
17. DETERMINING THE FRESHNESS OF CHICKEN.--There are a number of points
that indicate whether or not a chicken is fresh. In a freshly killed
chicken, the feet will be soft and pliable and moist to the touch; also,
the head will be unshrunken and the eyes full and bright. The flesh of
such a chicken will give a little when pressed, but no part of the flesh
should be softer than another. As actual decomposition sets in, the skin
begins to discolor. The first marks of discoloration occur underneath
the legs and wings, at the points where they are attached to the body.
Any dark or greenish color indicates decomposition, as does also any
slimy feeling of the skin. The odor given off by the chicken is also an
indication of freshness. Any offensive odor, of course, means that the
flesh has become unfit for food.
18. LIVE CHICKENS.--Occasionally chickens are brought to the market and
sold alive. This means, of course, that the birds are subjected to a
certain amount of fright and needless cruelty and that the work of
slaughtering falls to the purchaser. The cost, however, is decreased a
few cents on the pound. Such birds must be chosen first of all by weight
and then by the marks that indicate age, which have already been given.
SELECTION OF POULTRY OTHER THAN CHICKEN
19. The determination of quality, especially freshness, is much the same
for other kinds of poultry as it is for chicken. In fact, the same
points apply in most cases, but each kind seems to have a few
distinguishing features, which are here pointed out.
20. SELECTION OF TURKEYS.--Turkeys rank next to chickens in popularity
as food. They are native to America and are perhaps better known here
than in foreign countries. Turkey is a much more seasonal food than
chicken, it being best in the fall. Cold-storage turkey that has been
killed at that time, provided it is properly stored and cared for, is
better than fresh turkey marketed out of season.
21. The age of a turkey can be fairly accurately told by the appearance
of its feet. Very young turkeys have black feet, and as they mature the
feet gradually grow pink, so that at more than 1 year old the feet will
be found to be pink. However, as the bird grows still older, the color
again changes, and a 3-year-old turkey will have dull-gray or blackish
looking feet. The legs, too, serve to indicate the age of turkeys. Those
of a young turkey are smooth, but as the birds grow older they gradually
become rough and scaly. A young turkey will have spurs that are only
slightly developed, whereas an old turkey will have long, sharp ones.
22. Turkeys are seldom marketed when they are very young. But in spite
of the fact that this is occasionally done, the mature birds are more
generally marketed. Turkeys often reach a large size, weighing as much
as 20 to 25 pounds. A mature turkey has proportionately a larger amount
of flesh and a smaller amount of bone than chicken; hence, even at a
higher price per pound, turkey is fully as economical as chicken.
23. SELECTION OF DUCKS.--Ducks probably come next to turkeys in
popularity for table use. Young ducks are sold in the market during the
summer and are called _spring duck_. The mature ducks may be purchased
at any time during the year, but they are best in the winter months.
The flexibility of the windpipe is an excellent test for the age of
ducks. In the young bird, the windpipe may be easily moved; whereas, in
the old one, it is stationary and quite hard. The meat of ducks is dark
over the entire bird, and the greatest amount is found on the breast.
Its flavor is quite typical, and differs very much from turkey and
chicken. However, there is a comparatively small amount of meat even on
a good-sized duck, and it does not carve to very good advantage; in
fact, more persons can be served from a chicken or a turkey of the same
weight. Young ducks are rather difficult to clean, as a layer of fine
down, which is not easily removed, covers the skin.
24. SELECTION OF GEESE.--Geese are much more commonly used for food in
foreign countries than in America. Their age may be told in the same way
as that of ducks, namely, by feeling of the windpipe. The flesh is dark
throughout and rather strongly flavored. The fat is used quite
extensively for cooking purposes, and even as a butter substitute in
some countries. Because of this fact, geese are generally fattened
before they are slaughtered, and often half the weight of the bird is
fat. The livers of fattened geese reach enormous proportions and are
considered a delicacy. They are used for _pâté de fois gras_. Usually,
this is put up in jars and brings a very high price.
25. SELECTION OF PIGEONS.--Pigeons are raised primarily for their use
as _squabs_. These are young birds about 4 weeks old, and their meat is
tender and agreeable to the taste. The meat of the mature pigeon becomes
quite tough and unpalatable. The breast is the only part of the bird
that has meat on it in any quantity, and this meat is slightly lighter
in color than that which comes from the remainder of the body. Midsummer
is the best season for squabs, but they can be purchased at other times
of the year. The cost of squabs is too high to allow them to be used
extensively as a food in the ordinary household.
GUIDE TO THE SELECTION OF POULTRY
Market Name Weight Age Season
Squab broiler 3/4 to 1-1/4 6 to 8 wk. April to July
Broiler 1-1/2 to 2 2 to 4 mo. May to Sept.
Frying chicken 2-1/2 to 3 6 mo. June to Oct.
Roasting chicken 3 to 6 6 mo. to 1 yr. All Year
Fowl 4 to 5 over 1 yr. All Year
Capon 6 to 10 6 to 8 wk. May to Sept.
Turkey broiler 1-1/2 to 4 2 to 4 mo. June to Sept.
Roasting turkey 8 to 25 6 mo. to 3 yr. Oct. to Jan.
Spring Duck 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 2 to 6 mo. May to Dec.
Roasting Duck 4 to 8 6 mo. to 1 yr. Best in winter
Green goose 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 2 to 6 mo. May to Dec.
Roasting goose 4 to 8 6 mo. to 1 yr. Oct. to Mar.
Squab 1/2 to 3/4 4 wk. June to Sept.
Guinea hen broiler 1 to 2 2 to 4 mo. Aug. to Nov.
Guinea fowl 3 to 5 6 mo. to 1 yr. Oct. to Mar.
26. SELECTION OF GUINEA FOWLS.--Guinea fowls are coming into common use
as food. The young birds are preferable to the older ones. They are
ready for the market in early autumn, while the old birds may be
procured at any time. The breast meat of guinea fowls is almost as light
as that of chicken, but all the meat of this bird has a gamy taste,
which is absent in the chicken. If this particular flavor is much
desired, it may be developed to even a greater degree by allowing the
bird to hang after killing until the meat begins to "turn," that is,
become "high." Such meat, however, is not usually desirable in the
27. SELECTION OF PHEASANT, PARTRIDGE, AND QUAIL.--Pheasant, partridge,
and quail are usually considered game birds, but certain varieties are
being extensively domesticated and bred for market. Such birds are small
and are used more in the nature of a delicacy than as a common
article of food.
28. TABLE OF POULTRY AND GAME.--In Table I are given the market names of
the various kinds of poultry and game birds, as well as the
corresponding age, the weight, and the season of the year when they are
most desirable. This table will serve as a guide in selecting poultry
that is to be used as food.
COMPOSITION OF POULTRY
29. The composition of poultry is very similar to that of meats. In
fact, poultry is composed of protein, fat, water, mineral salts, and
extractives that do not differ materially from those found in meats. The
protein, which usually varies from 15 to 20 per cent., is a much more
constant factor than the fat, which varies from 8 to 40 per cent. This
variation, of course, makes the total food value high in some kinds of
poultry and low in others. For instance, in a young broiler that has not
been fattened, the food value is extremely low; whereas, in a mature
well-fattened bird, such as a goose, which increases very markedly in
fatty tissue after reaching maturity, it is extremely high. A factor
that detracts considerably from the edible portion of poultry is the
waste material, or refuse. This consists of the bones, cartilage, head,
feet, and entrails, or inedible internal organs. The greater the
proportion of such waste material, the more the total nutritive value of
the flesh is reduced. It is claimed that birds that have light-colored
flesh do not become so fat as those which have dark flesh. This, of
course, makes their nutritive value less, because the fat of poultry is
what serves to supply a large part of the nutrition. There is no
particular difference, as is commonly supposed, between the red and
white meat of poultry. The difference in color is due to a difference in
the blood supply, but this does not affect the composition to
* * * * *
PREPARATION OF POULTRY FOR COOKING
PREPARATION OF CHICKEN
30. As has been implied, poultry must be properly prepared before it is
ready for cooking; likewise, the method of cookery determines how it
must be prepared. For example, if it is to be roasted, it must be drawn;
if it is to be stewed, it must be drawn and cut into suitable pieces;
and so on. The various steps that must be taken to make poultry suitable
for cooking are therefore considered here in detail.
31. DRESSING A CHICKEN.--Although, as has been shown, the housewife does
not have to dress the chicken that she is to cook--that is, kill and
pluck it--there may be times when she will be called on to perform this
task or at least direct it. A common way of killing chicken in the home
is simply to grasp it firmly by the legs, lay it on a block, and then
chop the head off with a sharp hatchet or a cleaver. If this plan is
followed, the beheaded chicken must be held firmly until the blood has
drained away and the reflex action that sets in has ceased. Otherwise,
there is danger of becoming splashed with blood.
32. After a chicken has been killed, the first step in its preparation,
no matter how it is to be cooked, consists in removing the feathers, or
_plucking_ it, as this operation is called. Plucking can be done dry by
simply pulling out the feathers. However, a bird can be plucked more
readily if it is first immersed in water at the boiling point for a few
minutes. Such water has a tendency to loosen the feathers so that they
can be pulled from the skin easily. Unless the chicken is to be used at
once, though, dry plucking is preferable to the other method. Care
should be taken not to tear or mar the skin in plucking, and the
operation is best performed by pulling out the feathers a few at a time,
with a quick jerk. In a young chicken, small feathers, commonly called
pin feathers, are apt to remain in the skin after plucking. These may be
pulled out by pinching each with the point of a knife pressed against
the thumb and then giving a quick jerk.
[Illustration: FIG. 3]
33. Whether live poultry is dressed by a local butcher or in the home,
the length of time it should be kept after killing demands attention.
Such poultry should either be cooked before rigor mortis, or the
stiffening of the muscles, has had time to begin, or be allowed to
remain in a cool place long enough for this to pass off and the muscles
to become tender again. Naturally, if this softening, or ripening,
process, as it is sometimes called, goes on too long, decomposition will
set in, with the usual harmful effects if the meat is used as food.
[Illustration: FIG. 4]
34. SINGEING A CHICKEN.--On all chickens except very young ones, whether
they are home dressed or not, hairs will be found on the skin; and, as
has been mentioned, the older the bird the more hair will it have. The
next step in preparing a chicken for cooking, therefore, is to singe it,
or burn off these hairs. However, before singeing, provided the head has
not been removed, cut it off just where the neck begins, using a kitchen
cleaver or a butcher knife, as in Fig. 3. To singe a dressed chicken,
grasp it by the head or the neck and the feet and then revolve it over a
gas flame, as shown in Fig. 4, or a burning piece of paper for a few
seconds or just long enough to burn off the hairs without scorching the
skin. After singeing, wash the skin thoroughly with a cloth and warm
water, as shown in Fig. 5. Then it will be ready for drawing and
[Illustration: Fig. 5]
35. DRAWING A CHICKEN.--By drawing a chicken is meant the taking out of
the entrails and removing all parts that are not edible. Although this
work will be done by some butchers, the better plan is to do it at home,
for, as has been stated, chicken or any other poultry must be cooked
very soon after the entrails are removed. Chicken that is to be roasted
is always prepared in this way, as the cavity that remains may be filled
with stuffing. Drawing is also necessary when chicken is to be cooked in
any other way, as by stewing or frying, but in addition it must be cut
up. The procedure in drawing a chicken is simple, but some practice is
required before deftness will result.
[Illustration: Fig. 6]
[Illustration: Fig. 7]
[Illustration: Fig. 8]
[Illustration: Fig. 9]
[Illustration: FIG. 10]
36. In order to draw a chicken, carefully cut a lengthwise slit through
the skin on the neck, and slip the fingers down around the _crop_, which
is a small sack that holds the food eaten by the chicken. Then pull
the crop out, and with it the windpipe, as in Fig. 6, taking pains not
to tear the skin nor to break the crop.
Next, remove the tendons, or thick white cords, from the legs, so as to
improve the meat. These may be easily removed, especially from a chicken
that is freshly killed; that is, one in which the flesh is still moist.
Simply cut through the skin, just above the foot, as in Fig. 7, being
careful not to cut the tendons that lie just beneath the skin; then slip
a skewer or some other small, dull implement, as a fork, under the
tendons, pull down toward the foot until they loosen at the second
joint, and pull them out. This operation is clearly shown in Fig. 8.
With the tendons removed, the feet may be cut off. To do this, cut
through the skin where the two bones join, as shown in Fig. 9. As the
joint separates, cut through the remaining tendons and skin on the back
of the legs.
[Illustration: FIG. 11]
37. Proceed, next, to cut a crosswise slit through the skin between the
legs at a point above the vent, as in Fig. 10, so that the entrails may
be removed. This slit should be just large enough to admit the hand and
no larger. Insert the fingers of one hand in this slit and gently move
them around the mass of the internal organs, keeping them close to the
framework of the bird. This will loosen the entrails at the points where
they are attached to the body. Then, inserting the hand, slip the
fingers around the mass at the top, near the neck, and with one pull
remove the entire internal contents, as Fig. 11 shows. The lungs, or
lights, as they are sometimes called, do not come out with this mass.
They will be found covered with a membrane and tightly fastened inside
the breast bone, and must be removed by pulling them out with the tips
of the fingers. After the entrails are removed, pour clean cold water
into the cavity, rinse it well several times, and pour the water out.
[Illustration: Fig. 12]
[Illustration: FIG. 13]
38. Among the contents drawn from the chicken will be found the heart,
the liver, and the gizzard. These are called the _giblets_. They are the
only edible internal organs, and must be separated from the rest. To do
this, squeeze the blood from the heart, and then cut the large vessels
off close to the top of it. Then cut the liver away. In handling this
part of the giblets extreme care must be taken, for tightly attached to
it, as Fig. 12 shows, is the _gall bladder_, which is a tiny sack filled
with green fluid, called bile. If this sack breaks, anything that its
contents touches will become very bitter and therefore unfit to eat. The
gall bag should be cut out of the liver above the place where it is
attached, so as to be certain that it does not break nor lose any of the
bile. Next, remove the gizzard, which consists of a fleshy part
surrounding a sack containing partly digested food eaten by the
chicken. First trim off any surplus fat, and carefully cut through the
fleshy part just to the surface of the inside sack. Then pull the
outside fleshy part away from the sack without breaking it, as in Fig.
13, an operation that can be done if the work is performed carefully.
After removing the giblets and preparing them as explained, wash them
well, so that they may be used with the rest of the chicken. As a final
step, cut out the _oil sack_, which lies just above the tail, proceeding
in the manner illustrated in Fig. 14.
[Illustration: FIG. 14]
[Illustration: Fig. 15]
[Illustration: FIG. 16]
[Illustration: FIG. 17]
[Illustration: FIG. 18]
[Illustration: Fig. 19]
[Illustration: Fig. 20]
[Illustration: Fig. 21]
[Illustration: Fig. 22]
39. CUTTING UP A CHICKEN.--When chicken that has been drawn is to be
fried, stewed, fricasseed, or cooked in some similar way, it must be cut
into suitable pieces. In order to do this properly, it is necessary to
learn to locate the joints and to be able to cut squarely between the
two bones where they are attached to each other. To sever the legs from
the body of the chicken, first cut through the skin underneath each leg
where it is attached to the body, as in Fig. 15, bend the leg back far
enough to break the joint, and then cut through it, severing the entire
leg in one piece. When the legs are cut off, cut each one apart at the
joint between the thigh and the lower part, as in Fig. 16, making two
pieces. To sever the wings from the body, cut through the skin where the
wing is attached, as in Fig. 17, and bend it back until the joint
breaks. Then cut it off where the ends of the bones are attached to the
joint. When both legs and both wings are removed, proceed to cut the
body apart. As shown in Fig. 18, place the chicken, neck down, on a
table, and cut down through the ribs parallel with the breast and the
back, until the knife strikes a hard bone that it cannot cut. Then
firmly grasp the breast with one hand and the back with the other and
break the joints that attach these parts by pulling the back and the
breast away from each other, as in Fig. 19. Cut through the joints, as
in Fig. 20, so that the back, ribs, and neck will be in one piece and
the breast in another. [Illustration: Fig. 23] If desired, the breast
may be divided into two pieces by cutting it in the manner shown in Fig.
21; also, as the back will break at the end of the ribs, it may be cut
into two pieces there. Finally, cut the neck from the top piece of the
back, as in Fig. 22.
The pieces of chicken thus procured may be rinsed clean with cold
water, but they should never be allowed to stand in water, because this
will draw out some of the extractives, or flavoring material, soluble
albumin, and mineral salts.
40. PREPARING CHICKEN FEET.--Many persons consider that chicken feet are
not worth while for food. This, however, is a mistaken idea, for they
will add to the flavor of soup stock or they may be cooked with the
giblets to make stock for gravy. Chicken feet do not contain much meat,
but what little there is has an excellent flavor and should be removed
for use when creamed chicken or any dish made with left-over chicken is
to be cooked.
To prepare chicken feet for use as food, scrub the feet well and pour
boiling water over them. After a minute or two, remove them from the
water and rub them with a clean cloth to peel off the scaly skin, as
shown in Fig. 23. Finally remove the nails by bending them back.
41. UTILIZING THE WING TIPS.--The last joint, or tip, of chicken wings
has no value as food, but, like the feet, it will help to add flavor to
any stock that is made. This small piece of wing may be removed and then
cooked with the feet and giblets.
PREPARATION OF POULTRY OTHER THAN CHICKEN
42. PREPARATION OF TURKEY.--The preparation of a plucked turkey for
cooking is almost identically the same as that of a plucked chicken.
Begin the preparation by singeing it; that is, hold it over a flame and
turn it so that all the hairs on the skin will be burned off. Then look
the skin over carefully, remove any pin feathers that may not have been
removed in plucking, and wash it thoroughly. Next, cut off the head,
leaving as much of the neck as possible. Draw the tendons from the legs
as in preparing chicken; the ease with which this can be done will
depend greatly on the length of time the turkey has been killed. Then
cut off the legs at the first joint above the foot.
Having prepared the external part of the turkey, proceed to draw it.
First, remove the crop by cutting a slit lengthwise in the neck over the
crop, catching it with the fingers, and pulling it out. Next, cut a slit
between the legs, below the breast bone, and draw out the internal
organs. Clean and retain the giblets. Remove the lungs, wash out the
cavity in the turkey, and cut off the oil bag on the back, just
above the tail.
Turkey prepared in this way is ready to stuff and roast. It is never cut
into pieces in the ordinary household until it has been cooked and is
ready to serve. Directions for carving are therefore given later.
43. PREPARATION OF DUCK AND GOOSE.--The preparation of duck and goose
for cooking does not differ materially from that of turkey or chicken.
Like turkey, duck or goose is generally roasted and not cut up until it
is ready to serve. It will be well to note that young ducks are covered
with small feathers, or down, which is very difficult to remove.
However, the down may be removed by pulling it out with a small knife
pressed against the thumb. When the down is removed, proceed with the
preparation. Singe, wash, remove the head and feet, draw, wash the
inside of the bird, and remove the oil sack. Goose may be prepared for
cooking in the same way.
44. PREPARATION OF SMALL BIRDS.--Squabs, partridge, pheasant, and other
small birds are usually cooked by broiling. To prepare such a bird for
cooking, singe, remove any small feathers that may remain, wash, remove
the head and feet, and draw, following the directions given for drawing
chicken. When it is thus cleaned, lay the bird open. To do this, begin
at the neck and cut down the back along the spine. If desired, however,
the bird may be cut down the back before drawing and the entrails
removed through the cut down the back. Finally, wash the inside and wipe
it dry, when the bird will be ready for broiling.
* * * * *
COOKING OF POULTRY
45. With poultry, as in the case of meats of any kind, it is the
composition that determines the method of cookery; and, as the structure
and composition of the tissue of poultry do not differ materially from
those of meats, the application of the various cooking methods is
practically the same. Young and tender birds that have comparatively
little flesh, such as young chickens, squabs, and guinea fowl, are
usually prepared by such rapid methods as frying and broiling.
Medium-sized poultry, including chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl, ducks,
and geese, require more cooking, and this, of course, must be done at a
lower temperature; therefore, such poultry is generally roasted. Old
poultry, particularly old chicken, or fowl, which is apt to be tough,
requires still more cooking, and for this reason is stewed, braized, or
fricasseed. The recipes for the cooking of various kinds of poultry here
given will serve to make clear the cookery method to employ, as well as
how to carry it out to advantage.
PREPARATION BY BROILING
46. The method of broiling in the case of poultry of all kinds does not
differ in any way from the same method applied to cuts of meat. Since
broiling is a rapid method of cookery and heat is applied at a high
temperature, it is necessary that the poultry chosen for broiling be
young and tender and have a comparatively small amount of meat on
[Illustration: FIG. 24]
Broiled poultry is not an economical dish, neither is it one in which
the greatest possible amount of flavor is obtained, since, as in the
case of the meat of animals used for food, the flavor develops with the
age of the birds. However, broiled poultry has value in the diet of
invalids and persons with poor appetite and digestion, for if it is
properly done it is appetizing and easily digested.
[Illustration: Fig. 25]
47. BROILED POULTRY.--Poultry that is to be broiled must first be
dressed, drawn, and cleaned. Then, as has been mentioned for the
preparation of small birds, lay the bird open by cutting down along the
spine, beginning at the neck, as shown in Fig. 24. This will permit the
bird to be spread apart, as in Fig. 25. When it is thus made ready,
washed, and wiped dry, heat the broiler and grease it. Then place the
bird on the broiler in the manner shown in Fig. 26 and expose it to
severe heat. Sear quickly on one side, and turn and sear on the other
side. Then reduce the heat to a lower temperature and broil more slowly,
turning often. To prevent burning, the parts that stand up close to the
flame may be covered with strips of bacon fastened on with skewers;
also, to get the best results, the side of the bird on which the flesh
is thick should be exposed to the heat for a greater length of time than
the other side. If there is any danger of the high places burning in the
broiler, the bird may be removed and the cooking continued in a hot
oven. Broiled poultry should be well done when served. This means, then,
particularly in the case of chickens, that the broiling process should
be carried on for about 20 minutes. When the bird is properly cooked,
remove it from the broiler, place it on a hot platter, dot it with
butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper, garnish, and serve.
[Illustration: Fig. 26]
PREPARATION BY FRYING
48. As has been mentioned, birds slightly older and larger than those
used for broiling should be fried, because frying is a slower method and
gives the flesh a more thorough cooking. However, most of the dishes
commonly known as fried poultry are not fried, but sautéd in shallow
fat. The same principles employed in sautéing any food are applied in
the cooking of poultry by this method; that is, the surface is seared as
quickly as possible and the cooking is finished at a lower temperature.
Often in this cooking process, the pieces to be sautéd are dipped into
batter or rolled in flour to assist in keeping the juices in the meat.
49. FRIED CHICKEN.--To many persons, fried chicken--or, rather, sautéd
chicken, as it should be called--is very appetizing. Chicken may be
fried whole, but usually it is cut up, and when this is done it serves
to better advantage. Likewise, the method of preparation is one that
adds flavor to young chicken, which would be somewhat flavorless if
prepared in almost any other way.
Frying is not a difficult cookery process. To prepare chickens, which
should be young ones, for this method of preparation, draw, clean, and
cut them up in the manner previously explained. When they are ready,
wash the pieces and roll them in a pan of flour, covering the entire
surface of each piece. Then, in a frying pan, melt fat, which may be
chicken fat, bacon fat, part butter, lard, or any other frying fat that
will give an agreeable flavor. When the fat is thoroughly hot, place in
it the pieces of floured chicken and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
As soon as the pieces have browned on one side, turn them over and brown
on the other side. Then reduce the heat, cover the frying pan with a
tight-fitting lid, and continue to fry more slowly. If, after 25 or 30
minutes, the meat can be easily pierced with a fork, it is ready to
serve; if this cannot be done, add a small quantity of hot water,
replace the cover, and simmer until the meat can be pierced readily. To
serve fried chicken, place the pieces on a platter and garnish the dish
with parsley so as to add to its appearance.
50. GRAVY FOR FRIED CHICKEN.--If desired, brown gravy may be made and
served with fried chicken. After the chicken has been removed from the
frying pan, provided an excessive amount of fat remains, pour off some
of it. Sprinkle the fat that remains with dry flour, 1 tablespoonful to
each cupful of liquid that is to be used, which may be milk, cream,
water, or any mixture of the three. Stir the flour into the hot fat.
Heat the liquid and add this hot liquid to the fat and flour in the
frying pan. Stir rapidly so that no lumps will form, and, if necessary,
season with more salt and pepper to suit the taste.
Gravy may also be made in this manner: Stir cold liquid slowly into the
flour in the proportion of 1 tablespoonful of flour to 1 cupful of
liquid, which may be milk, cream, water, or any mixture of the three.
Add the cold liquid and flour to the frying pan containing a small
amount of fat in which the chicken was fried. Stir rapidly until the
gravy has thickened and there are no lumps.
Very often the giblets, that is, the liver, heart, and gizzard of
chicken, are used in making gravy. For example, the giblets may be
cooked in water until they are tender and then sautéd in butter to
serve, and when this is done the water in which they were cooked may be
used for making gravy. Again, if it is not desired to eat them in this
way, they may be chopped fine and added to gravy made from the fat that
remains from frying.
51. MARYLAND FRIED CHICKEN.--Maryland fried chicken is a popular dish
with many persons. As a rule, corn fritters are used as a garnish and
Served with the chicken, and strips of crisp bacon are placed over the
top of it. Often, too, potato croquettes are served on the same platter,
a combination that makes almost an entire meal.
To prepare Maryland fried chicken, draw, clean, and cut up young
chickens. Then wash the pieces and dry them with a soft cloth. Sprinkle
the pieces with salt and pepper, and dip each into fine cracker crumbs
or corn meal, then into beaten egg, and again into the crumbs or the
corn meal. Next, melt in a frying pan chicken or bacon fat, part butter,
lard, or any other fat for frying. When it is hot, place the pieces of
chicken in it. Fry them until they are brown on one side; then turn and
brown them on the other side. Lower the temperature and continue to fry
slowly until the meat may be easily pierced with a fork. When the
chicken is done, pour 2 cupfuls of white sauce on a hot platter and
place the chicken in it. Then garnish and serve.
52. FRIED CHICKEN WITH PAPRIKA SAUCE.--Chickens that are a trifle older
than those used for plain fried chicken may be prepared to make what is
known as fried chicken with paprika sauce. If in preparing this dish the
chicken does not appear to be tender after frying, it may be made so by
simmering it in the sauce.
To prepare this chicken dish, which is tempting to many, draw, clean,
and cut up a chicken as for frying. Then melt fat in a frying pan, place
the pieces in the hot fat, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and brown
on both sides quickly. When both sides are brown, continue to fry the
pieces until they are tender. Then sprinkle all with 2 level
tablespoonfuls of flour, add 2 cupfuls of milk or thin cream, and allow
this to thicken. Then sprinkle with paprika until the sauce is pink. Let
the chicken simmer slowly until the sauce penetrates the meat a little.
Serve on a platter with a garnish.
PREPARATION BY ROASTING
53. Roasting is the cookery process that is commonly employed for
preparing chickens that are of good size, as well as turkeys, ducks, and
geese. It is also followed at times for cooking guinea fowl, partridges,
pheasants, and similar small birds. As a rule, birds prepared in this
way are filled with stuffing, which may be made in so many ways that
roasted stuffed poultry makes a delightful change in the regular
routine of meals.
[Illustration: Fig. 27]
54. ROAST CHICKEN.--Roasting is the best method to employ for the
preparation of old chicken unless, of course, it is extremely old and
tough. Then stewing is about the only method that is satisfactory.
Chicken for roasting should weigh no less than 3 pounds. Chicken
prepared according to the following directions makes a dish that is very
[Illustration: Fig. 28]
To prepare chicken for roasting, clean and draw it in the manner
previously given. When it is made clean, rub salt and pepper on the
inside of the cavity, and stuff the cavity of the chicken, as shown in
Fig. 27, with any desirable stuffing. Directions for preparing stuffing
are given later. Also, fill with stuffing the space from which the crop
was removed, inserting it through the slit in the neck. Thread a large
darning needle with white cord and sew up the slit in the neck, as well
as the one between the legs, as in Fig. 28, so that the stuffing will
not fall out. Also, force the neck inside of the skin, and tie the skin
with a piece of string, as in Fig. 29. Then, as Fig. 29 also shows,
truss the chicken by forcing the tip of each wing back of the first wing
joint, making a triangle; also, tie the ends of the legs together and
pull them down, tying them fast to the tail, as in Fig. 30. Trussing in
this manner will give the chicken a much better appearance for serving
than if it were not so fastened; but, of course, before it is placed on
the table, the strings must be cut and removed. After stuffing and
trussing, put the chicken on its back in a roasting pan, sprinkle it
with flour, and place it in a very hot oven. Sear the skin quickly. Then
reduce the temperature slightly and pour a cupful of water into the
roasting pan. Baste the chicken every 10 or 15 minutes with this water,
until it is well browned and the breast and legs may be easily pierced
with a fork. Remove to a platter and serve. If gravy is desired, it may
be made in the roasting pan in the same way as for fried chicken. The
giblets may be cut into pieces and added or they may be left out and
served after first cooking and then browning them.
[Illustration: Fig. 29]
55. ROAST TURKEY.--In America, roast turkey is usually considered as a
holiday dish, being served most frequently in the homes on Thanksgiving
day. However, at times when the price is moderate, it is not an
extravagance to serve roast turkey for other occasions. Roasting is
practically the only way in which turkey is prepared in the usual
household, and it is by far the best method of preparation.
Occasionally, however, a very tough turkey is steamed before roasting in
order to make it sufficiently tender.
[Illustration: Fig. 30]
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