Let the birds hang as long as they can possibly be kept without becoming offensive; pick them carefully, draw, and singe them; wipe the insides thoroughly with a clean cloth; truss them with the head turned under the wing and the legs drawn close together or crossed. Flour them when first laid to the fire, and baste them plentifully with butter. Serve them with bread sauce, and good brown gravy: a little of this last should be poured over them. In some instances they are dished upon fried breadcrumbs, but these are better handed round the table by themselves. Where game is plentiful we recommend that the remains of a cold roasted partridge should be well bruised and boiled down with just so much water, or unfavoured broth, as will make gravy for a couple of other birds: this, seasoned with salt and cayenne only, or flavoured with a few mushrooms, will be found a very superior accompaniment for roast partridges, to the best meat-gravy that can be made. A little eschalot, and a few herbs can be added to it at pleasure.

It should be served also with boiled or with broiled partridges in preference to any other.

Rabbit Trussed for Boiling.

Rabbit Trussed for Boiling.

30 to 40 minutes.

Observations:

Rather less time must be allowed when the birds are liked underdressed. In preparing them for the spit, the crop must be removed through a slit cut in the back of the neck, the claws clipped close, and the legs held in boiling water for a minute, that they may be skinned the more easily.

Boiled Partridges

This is a delicate mode of dressing young and tender birds. Strip off the feathers, clean, and wash them well; cut off the heads, truss them like boiled fowls, and when ready, drop them into a large pan of boiling water; throw a little salt on them, and in fifteen, or at the utmost in eighteen minutes they will be ready to serve. Lift them out, dish them quickly, and send them to table with white mushroom-sauce, with bread sauce and game gravy (see preceding receipt), or with celery sauce. Our own mode of having them served is usually with a slice of fresh butter, about a tablespoonful of lemon-juice, and a good sprinkling of cayenne placed in a very hot dish, under them.

15 to 18 minutes.