These, as we have already said, should be dressed while they are very fresh. If extremely young they will be ready in twelve hours for the spit, otherwise, in twenty-four. Take off the heads and necks, and cut off the toes at the first joint; draw them carefully, that the gall-bladders may not be broken, and pour plenty of water through them; wipe them dry, and put into each bird a small bit of butter lightly dipped into a little cayenne (formerly it was rolled in minced parsley, but this is no longer the fashionable mode of preparing them.) Truss the wings over the backs, and roast them* at a brisk fire, keeping them well and constantly basted with butter. Serve them with brown gravy, and a tureen of parsley and butter. For the second course, dish them upon young water-cresses, as directed for roast fowl aux cressons, page 205. About twenty minutes will roast them.
18 to 20 minutes; five minutes longer, if large; rather less, if very young.
Truss them like boiled fowls, drop them into plenty of boiling water, throw in a little salt, and in fifteen minutes lift them out, pour parsley and butter over, and send a tureen of it to table with them.
Wash and clean six pigeons, cut them into quarters, and put all their giblets with them into a stewpan, a piece of butter, a little water, a bit of lemon-peel, two blades of mace, some chopped parsley, salt, and pepper ; cover the pan closely, and stew them till they are tender; thicken the sauce with the yolk of an egg beaten up with three table-spoonsful of cream and a bit of butter dusted with flour; let them stew ten minutes longer before serving. This is an excellent and economical way of cooking them.
Pigeons for roasting.