This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
Nearly all game is better for being kept, quails, snipe and woodcock being the exceptions. It has been the rule to hang some game birds by the middle feather of the tail and cook the bird when it fell. When game becomes a little too high, permanganate of potash will purify it from the taint, if carefully employed. To keep game however, a better way is to draw it as soon as it arrives; rinse with soda and water, then with pure cold water; wipe dry and rub them lightly with fine salt and pepper. Put a piece of charcoal inside each bird; hang in a cool, dark place, with a cloth thrown over them. Another way strongly recommended is to fill the birds with oats or other dry grain and bury them in grain. Probably, however, cold storage is the best way of all to preserve game as well as other meats.
" People will say: 'What is to be done with old game?' To that question I will simply answer: ' Do anything but roast it.' An old hare or an old rabbit may be turned to account by making it into soup, puree, stew, civet, quenelle, or pie. Of course, it will take a longer time to cook than if the game were young; but as compensation you will find more substance and more flavor in the result. An old bird may be boiled, braized, or made into fricassee, soup, forcemeat, and puree. Clear consomme du gibier aux quenelles is a very nutritious soup. It is made with carcasses and bones of old game, the flesh of which has been pounded to make the quenelles that are used as a garnish to the soup. In France, old partridges are mostly used in the form oiperdrix aux choux. They are braised with cabbage, bacon and sausages until tender. In Germany they substitute sauerkraut for the fresh cabbage. Hares, rabbits, and large birds, such as pheasants, blackcock, etc., require to be thoroughly cooked; but small birds, such as partridges, grouse> woodcocks, snipe, quails, etc., ought to be eaten a iittle underdone, when they will be more appreciated by the real epicure.
Small game is generally dished on toast; bread-sauce is always served with pheasants, partridges, grouse, and blackgame; with wild fowl in general, quartered lemons are handed round, and currant-jelly is sent up with roast hare.
" If the partridge had but the woodcock's thigh, He'd be the best bird that ever did fly; If the woodcock had but the partridge's breast, He'd be the best bird that ever was dressed".
"All small game-birds should be roasted in jackets made of very thin slices of salt pork or bacon. Many persons do not like the taste of smoked meats; the pork is therefore much better to use, unless by special order".
" Game (birds) should be hung by the neck, and not by the feet, as is commonly done. Hares should be dressed when blood drops from the nose. The fishy flavor of wild-flowl may be prevented by first boiling them in water in which are salt and onions. Game or wild-fowl for two or three are, however, never better than when broiled".