Pick, singe, and draw; lay the chicken on a board kept for the purpose, cut off the feet at first joint; cut a slit in the neck, take 18 out the windpipe and crop, cut off the wings and legs at the joint which unites them to the body, separate the first joint of the leg from the second, cut off the oil-bag, make a slit horizontally under the tail, cut the end of the entrails loose, extend the slit on each side of the joint where the legs were cut off; then, with the left hand, hold the breast of the chicken, and, with the right, bend back the rump until the joint in back separates, cut it clear and place in water. Take out the entrails, using a sharp knife to separate the eggs (if any), and all other particles to be removed, from the back, being careful in removing the heart and liver not to break the gall-bag (a small sack of a blue-green color about an inch long attached to the liver); separate the back and breast; commence at the high point of the breast and cut downwards toward the head, taking off part of the breast with the wish-bone; cut the neck from that part of the back to which the ribs are attached, turn the skin off the neck, and take out all lumps and stringy substances; very carefully remove the gall-bag from the liver, and clean the gizzard by making an incision through the thick part and first lining, peeling off the fleshy part, leaving the inside whole and ball-shaped; if the lining breaks, open the gizzards, pour out contents, peel off inner lining, and wash thoroughly. After washing in second water, the chicken is ready to be cooked. When young chickens are to be baked, with a sharp knife cut open the back at the side of the back-bone, press apart, and clean as above directed, and place in dripping-pan, skin side up.
Chickens are stuffed and roasted in the same way as turkeys, and are much better for being first steamed, especially if over a year old. Roast for twenty or thirty minutes, or till nicely browned. Some prefer to broil or fry old chickens after first steaming until tender, but stewing or boiling is better. In broiling chickens the danger of under-cooking on the one hand, or burning on the other, is avoided by breaking the bones slightly with a rolling-pin so that the pieces are flattened. Covering with a sauce-pan will also concentrate the heat, and help cook them thoroughly without burning.
Some, in making chicken or meat pies, line the bottom of the dish with crust, and place in the oven until well "set," then line the sides, fill, cover, and bake; it is always difficult to bake the crust on the bottom of dish unless this plan is adopted. A still better plan is to use no bottom crust, only lining the sides of the pan.