Young birds are to be chosen for broiling and other quick cooking, but full grown fowls are more nutritious for broths and stews. A fowl is usually fatter than a chicken, the skin is tougher, and the bones - especially the tip of the breast bone - are harder. In the skin of the young bird there are usually pin feathers, the feet are smoother, and the muscles or flesh are less well developed than in the fowl.
To prepare poultry, pick out.pinfeathers, singe and rub off the hairs and wipe clean. Cut through the loose skin on the back, pull away from the. neck, take out the crop and windpipe in front, cut off the neck.
Cut through the skin on the legs about an inch below the joint, break the bone, twist the leg and pull out the tendons one by one. Take off the wings and cut through the loose skin on the sides and separate the leg and thigh joints.
From backbone to tip of breastbone cut through thin muscles on either side. This exposes the interior organs so that it is easy to learn their relative positions. Then one knows how to proceed when preparing a bird to roast when the opening is small.
Loosen the membranes which attach these organs to the body, following the breastbone with the fingers until the point of the heart is felt. Then remove heart, liver, and gizzard together. The gallbag is protected by the liver, so there is little danger of breaking it if they are not separated. The intestines should be removed when the fowls are dressed for market.
Next detach the lungs from the backbone near the wings, and the kidneys, which are lower down in the back. These are not used.
Separate the gallbag from the liver without breaking, and cut away any portions of the liver which are tinged with green. Cut across the larger end of the heart and slip it out of the membrane enclosing it. Cut through the gizard on the wide side and take out the inner portion without breaking, if possible.
Learn the order of removal of these portions from the body, and then nothing will be forgotten when preparing a bird for any purpose, - the crop and windpipe from the neck.
The heart, liver, and gizzard, together, from an opening near the tail.
The lungs and kidneys from the hollows in the back-bone.
The oil bag on the upper part of the tail.
The backbone can now be divided near the middle, and by slipping a knife under the sharp end of the shoulder blade and then cutting through the ribs from the point where the wings come off, the upper part of the back is separated from the breast.
If desired, the fillets of white flesh can be separated from the breastbone and wishbone, by running the knife close to the bones.
Order of Removal
Never soak a fowl in water, as is often the practice. If any parts need washing rinse them off quickly one by one.
When the water is boiling hot the other sections are put in and the hot water coagulates the juices on the outside and thus more flavor is retained. To accomplish the same end, the joints are often browned in hot fat and then are stewed afterward,
A Fowl Cut Up For Fricassee
Chicken Stuffed And Trussed For Roasting