This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
Lately figured on the menu of Lingner's Restaurant. A roast swan, which weighed before trussin 35 lbs. As to its culinary treatment, the bird was larded and stuffed with chestnuts and truffles, braised before roasting, and finally served up to the double accompaniment of red cabbage and port-wine sauce. There was a good demand for the dish, and roast swan was soon reported "off." Twenty-nine "portions" were served, at 30 cents each. Mr. T. Vallet, of the Swan Hotel, Alton, sends us the following recipe in the hope that it may be " of some use to a confrere, who finds himself face to face with a cygnet for the first time." " The following will be found a very good way to treat it: When the bird is well cleaned, rub it inside and out with a spoonful of finely-bruised cloves, fill it with a stuffing made of 2 lb. of beefsteak, chopped very fine, well seasoned, adding 4 oz. of butter and some chopped shallot. Sew up the bird and tie on the spit with care, so as not to let the gravy escape. Cover with buttered paper. The fire should not be too fierce, as the bird is apt to acquire a high color. A cygnet of 15 lbs. requires a little over two hours. Half a pint of port-wine boiled with a little glaze mixed with the gravy that comes from the roast is to be poured on the dish.
It should be served with hot currant jelly in a boat." The breeding of swans for market is suggested by a correspondent as an industry likely to bear profit. He writes: "I dined the other day at a house where for a party of twelve a swan was the piece de resistance. It was pronounced to be something between a goose and a roast hare for flavor, and, being a cygnet of last summer's rearing, it afforded, some said, as much meat, and some rather more, than a first-class turkey." Cigne and Cignet are the French for swan and young swan.