This section is from the book "Philadelphia Cook Book: A Manual Of Home Economies", by Sarah Tyson Heston Rorer. Also available from Amazon: Philadelphia Cook Book.
Young hen turkeys are best for roasting. The legs should be black, the skin white, the breast broad and fat; and the shorter the neck the better. An old hen has reddish rough legs. A gobbler, if young, should have black legs and small spurs, and is always much larger than the hen of the same age. The flesh of an old gobbler is strong and tough, and it can be told by its reddish legs and long spurs.
Follow the recipe given for Chicken Stuffed with Chestnuts using double the amount of chestnuts.
For this procure a fresh young hen turkey. Draw and singe according to directions given for chicken. Cut one pound of ham into dice, stand over a moderate fire in a saucepan; when hot, add two pounds of truffles, quarter of a nutmeg grated, a quarter-teaspoonful of white pepper and a bay leaf; stir over the fire for fifteen minutes, and stand away to cool. When cold, put two tablespoonfuls of the mixture into the space from which the craw was taken, put the remainder into the body of the turkey, and sew it up. Truss, and hang it up in a cool, dry place for about five days in winter; in warmer weather, two days. Roast as directed in preceding recipe, and serve with truffle sauce.
A turkey is delicious stuffed with mushrooms in the same way.
Draw and singe the turkey as directed for chicken. Truss, but do not stuff. Put into a kettle, large enough to hold the turkey, one tablespoonful of butter, one tablespoonful chopped parsley, and, if you like, a teaspoonful of chopped onion; place it over a good fire, and, when the butter is hot, add water enough to cover the turkey. Take a cloth of suitable size, flour it well, and wrap around the turkey, then tie with twine. Put it in the kettle of boiling water, and simmer gently fifteen minutes to every pound. When done, remove the cloth and serve with oyster, egg, or bread sauce.
2 cups of bread crumbs
1 tablespoonful of butter 1/2 small onion
2 bay leaves
1 quart of stock
25 oysters 1 large tablespoonful of parsley 4 cloves Salt and pepper to taste
Draw the turkey; wipe it, inside and out, with a damp towel.
Drain the oysters, add them to the bread crumbs, then add the butter, parsley, one teaspoonful of salt and a dash of pepper; mix all together.
Fill and truss the same as in Roast Chicken. Now place the turkey in a baking-pan, spread the breast with butter, and put in a very quick oven to brown, about a half-hour. Then take it from the oven, put it into a soup kettle with the onion, bay leaves, cloves and stock. Cover, and let simmer slowly for two hours, or until the turkey is tender. Serve with the following or oyster sauce: -