This section is from the book "The Epicurean", by Charles Ranhofer. Also available from Amazon: The Epicurean, a Complete Treatise of Analytical and Practical Studies on the Culinary Art.
A bird similar to the blackbird with speckled plumage: its meat is very succulent. Bone the the backs of eight well-cleaned thrushes, leaving on the breastbone and legs; season the meats and fill the insides with game quenelle forcemeat (No. 91), and cooked fine herbs (No. 385). Enclose the dressing, sew and truss the birds for an entree (No. 178). Line a low saucepan with bards of fat pork, put over bottomless oval molds three inches long, two wide and half an inch high, place a thrush in each of these rings. Cut up some ham, veal, carrots and onions in three-eighths of an inch squares, place them around the birds, also a bunch of parsley garnished with thyme and bay leaf, cover with a round piece of strong buttered paper, moisten with a little stock (No. 104a ) and Madeira and reduce the liquid till dry, then remoisten with broth and let boil. Close well the saucepan and push it into a moderate oven, leaving it there until the birds are nearly done, then untruss and glaze to a fine color; return them to another saucepan with a little braise stock to keep hot until ready to serve. Prepare some croustades with foundation paste ( No. 135); in oval molds three and a quarter inches long, two and an eighth wide and three-quarters of an inch high.
Strain the stock, skim off the fat and reduce with the same quantity of espagnole sauce (•No. 414), and a gill of good Madeira into which has been infused a piece of Ceylon cinnamon; take a third part of this same to serve separately at the same time as the thrush and to the other two-thirds add sonic truffles and escalops of cooked duck's liver; fill the croustades with this, drain the birds, glaze over and lay them on top, then serve.
Have as many birds as guests; pick, singe and remove the gizzard, pouch and intestines and fill the inside of each one with Spanish olives slutted with anchovies, finishing to fill up the empty space with lightly melted fresh butter. Cut as many oval croutons as there are birds having them three inches long by one and three-quarters wide and halt an inch thick-; slit them all around a quarter of an inch high and three-sixteenths of an inch from the edge; takeout the inside and place a lard in this hollow; lay them in a sauteing pan the bottom covered with a bed of clarified butter and put it on the hot fire; as soon as the butter is well heated push it into the oven and after the croutons are colored and the thrushes well cooked, take them out and drain them from the butter on a cloth, then range in a circle on a dish and fill the inside with a garnishing made of minced mushrooms and truffles mingled with half-glaze (No 400), a tablespoontul of good olive oil and the juice of half a lemon, pour this sauce over all and serve.
Have some well-cleaned thrushes, bone keeping on the legs; season the meats, and in each bird set a ball of forcemeat made with quenelle forcemeat (No. 91), and foies-gras from a terrine, half of each. Truss and fry in butter with a bunch of parsley garnished with thyme and bay leaf; drain off the butter, moisten with a little Madeira and stock (No. 194a), and reduce the moisture entirely while cooking slowly. Range a layer of game quenelle forcemeat mixed with cooked fine herbs (No. 385) on a dish; this layer should be seven inches in diameter by three-quarters of an inch high; place the dish on a baking-pan containing a little boiling water and poach the forcemeat in a slack oven. Dress the thrushes on this forcemeat, the breasts lying toward the outer edge and the legs in the center; cover the birds with well reduced veloute sauce (No. 415) into which mix a little game glaze (No. 398), and cooked fine herbs (No. 385); bestrew with par-mesan, pour over melted butter, and brown in a hot oven or salamander (Fig. 123). Serve separately a veloute sauce (No. 415) reduced with while wine and mushroom essence (No. 392).
Pick and singe one dozen thrushes; remove the gizzard and pouch without drawing them, truss for roasting and fry in butter in an earthenware saucepan over a brisk fire. When done remove them from the saucepan, untruss and dress in a circle on a hot dish, the legs lying inwards; add to their stock a little game glaze (No. 398), some clear gravy (No. 404), the juice of a lemon, and a small pinch of chopped parsley. Pour the sauce over the birds, and serve.
Pick, draw, and singe six thrushes or robins; stuff them with forcemeat made of four ounces of lean cooked ham cut in dice, and as much finely chopped sausage meat; put this into a sautoir on a bright fire to cook, when cool add four ounces of truffles, and the same of foies-gras, cut in three-sixteenths of an inch squares; mix in six ounces of thick and well-reduced allemande sauce ( No. 407). Truss the bird as for an entree (No. 178), cover the breast with a grape leaf, and on this place a thin layer of fat pork; cook on the spit or in a quick oven, untruss and dress on canapes with the following gravy poured around: Fry two bay leaves in butter with one chopped shallot, salt, pepper, and hue herbs, add half a pint of white wine, and a little stock (No. 194a); let boil and simmer, then put in some game glaze (No. 398), and minced mushrooms; when ready the bay leaves should be removed.
Prepare and broil the thrushes the same as quails (No. 2128), only not allowing them to cook quite as long; dress and serve the same.