A chicken too old to roast is very good when boiled. Truss the chicken firmly. It is well also to tie it in a piece of cheesecloth, to keep it in good shape. It may be stuffed or not. Boiled rice seasoned with butter, pepper, and salt, or celery cut in small pieces, is better to use for boiled chicken than bread stuffing.
Put the chicken into boiling salted water and simmer, allowing twenty minutes to the pound; when done, remove the cloth and cords carefully, spread a little white sauce over the breast, and sprinkle it with chopped parsley. Garnish with parsley, and serve with it egg, oyster, or Bearnaise sauce.
A fowl too old to roast may be made tender and good by braising, and present the same appearance as a roasted chicken.
Prepare it as for roasting, trussing it into good shape. Cut into dice a carrot, turnip, onion, and stalk of celery; put them in a pot with a few slices of salt pork, and on them place the fowl, with a few pieces of salt pork laid over the breast; add a bouquet of parsley, one bay-leaf, three cloves, six peppercorns, also a teaspoonful of salt, and a pint of hot water. Cover the pot closely and let simmer for three hours. If any steam escapes, a little more water may have to be added. When done, rub a little butter over the breast, dredge with flour, and place in the oven a few minutes to brown. Strain the liquor from the braising pot, season to taste, and if necessary thicken with a little brown roux; serve it with the chicken as sauce.
Young spring chickens only are used for broiling. Split them down the back, remove the entrails and the breast bone, wipe them clean, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and rub them with soft butter. Place them on a broiler over a slow fire, the inside down; cover with a pan, and let cook for twenty to twenty-five minutes. Turn, to let the skin side brown when nearly done. Place them on a hot dish, and spread them with maitre d'hotel butter; garnish with parsley or watercress and thin slices of lemon.
Cut a chicken into eleven pieces: two drumsticks, two second joints, two wings, two breasts, three back pieces.
Put the pieces in a saucepan with two tablespoonfuls of butter or drippings; let them brown slightly on both sides, but use care that they do not burn; when a little colored, add enough boiling water to cover them.; add a bouquet of herbs, salt and pepper, and a few slices of salt pork. Simmer until tender. Arrange the pieces neatly on a dish, using the best ones outside, and pour over them a gravy made as follows: Strain the liquor from the pot and take off the fat. Make a white roux of one tablespoonful of butter and two of flour; add to it slowly a cupful of the liquor from the pot; season to taste; remove from the fire, and when a little cool add a cupful of cream or milk beaten up with two or three yolks of eggs. Place again on the fire until the eggs are a little thickened, but do not let it boil, or they will curdle. A tablespoonful of sherry may be added, if liked, or a half can of mushrooms. A border of rice may be placed around the chicken, or softened toast used under the chicken.
To make a brown fricassee, sprinkle the pieces of chicken, after they are simmered until tender, with salt, pepper, and flour, and place them in the oven to brown. Make a brown instead of a white roux, and omit the cream or milk.