Unless pigeons are young they should be braised or stewed in broth. Truss them carefully; place slices of bacon on the bottom of a stew-pan; lay in the pigeons side by side, their breasts up; add a carrot and onion cut into dice, a teaspoonful of sugar, and some parsley, and pour over enough stock or boiling water to cover them. Cover the pot closely. Let them simmer until they are tender, adding boiling water or stock when necessary. Serve each pigeon on a thin piece of moistened buttered toast.
Do not roast pigeons unless they are young and tender. After they are well trussed, or tied into shape, tie thin slices of bacon over the breasts, and put a little piece of butter inside each pigeon. Roast them about fifteen minutes; baste them with butter.
Or split the pigeons in two through the back and breast, cover with thin slices of salt pork, and roast them in the oven. Thicken the gravy in the pan with a little cornstarch. Season and moisten with it slices of toast on which the half pigeons will be served.
Grouse, like all game, should not be too fresh. Wash them on the outside only, the same as directed for chicken (page 181). Put a little butter inside each bird and truss them into good shape. Roast them in a hot oven twenty-five to thirty minutes, basting them frequently with melted butter. Five minutes before removing them dredge them with flour. Boil the liver of the grouse, pound it with a little butter, pepper, and salt to a paste; spread it over hot buttered toast moistened with juice from the pan. Serve the grouse on the toast. Prairie-chickens have dark meat, and many epicures declare that they should be cooked quite as rare as canvasback ducks and that their flavor when so served is unsurpassed. Young prairie-chickens have a much lighter meat and need not be so rare.
Draw the birds carefully. Wipe them inside and out with a damp cloth; do not wash them more than this. Truss them carefully, letting the legs stand up instead of down, as with a chicken. Tie around each one a thin slice of pork or bacon. Bake in a hot oven fifteen to twenty minutes. Baste frequently, having in the pan a little butter, hot water, salt, and pepper. Serve on slices of toast moistened with juice from the pan.
Split them down the back. Broil over hot coals four minutes on each side. Baste them while broiling with a little butter. When they are done spread them with butter, salt, and pepper; place them on slices of slightly moistened toast, and stand them in the oven a few minutes to soak the butter.
Draw the birds carefully. Wipe inside and out with a wet cloth, but do not wash more than this, as it takes away their flavor. Cut off the feet, and skin the lower legs, which can be done after holding them a minute in scalding water. Skin the head, and take out the eyes. Press the bird well together; draw around the head, and run the bill like a skewer through the legs and body. Wrap each one in a thin slice of pork or bacon, and bake in a hot oven for ten minutes; baste with butter.
Chop or pound the hearts and livers to a paste. Season with salt, pepper, onion juice, and butter. Spread the paste on slices of toast just large enough to hold one bird. Place the crous-tades in the oven to become very hot. Pour over them the juice from the dripping-pan holding the birds. Place the birds on the toast, and serve at once. Garnish the dish with watercress. The croustades are better fried than toasted.
Dress and truss the partridge the same as a chicken. Lard the breast, or cover it with a slice of salt pork. Put into the baking-pan with the bird one tablespoonful of butter, and two of boiling water. Roast in a hot oven about forty minutes, basting frequently.
The partridge has white meat, and so needs to be thoroughly cooked, but not dried. Place the bird on a hot dish, and around it on the same dish a border of coarse bread-crumbs, which have been thoroughly mixed in a saucepan with a tablespoonful of melted butter. Serve in a sauce-boat a white sauce or a bread sauce. If the partridge is to be broiled split it down the back, rub it well with butter, place the inside next the coals; cover and broil for twenty-five minutes. Keep it well moistened with butter, and turn it to brown on the skin side a few minutes before done. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve on buttered toast.
Venison is prepared and cooked the same as mutton. The roasting pieces are the saddle, and haunch or leg. It should be cooked underdone, allowing ten minutes to the pound. Serve with it currant jelly sauce and salad.
* The steak should be moistened with the sauce so it will have a glazed appearance.