If game birds are not hung a few days after killing they are likely to be tough; but, as I have remarked elsewhere, this should not be overdone.
Birds for frying should be cut in convenient pieces, parboiled until tender in a pot with enough water to cover, then removed, saving the liquor. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and flour (this for the sake of the gravy), fry in melted pork fat, take out when done, then stir into the frying fat one-half cupful dry flour till a dark brown, add parboiling liquor, bring to a boil, put game in dish, and pour gravy over it, or serve with one of the sauces described below.
Split them up the back, broil over the coals, and baste with a piece of pork on tined stick held over them. Fillets of ducks or other large birds may be sliced off and impaled on sticks wkh thin slices of pork.
Any kind of bird may be fricasseed as follows: Cut it into convenient pieces, parboil them in enough water to cover; when tender, remove from the pot and drain. Fry two or three slices of pork until brown. Sprinkle the pieces of bird with salt, pepper, and flour, and fry to a dark brown in the pork fat. Take up the bird, and stir into the frying fat half a cup, more or less, of dry flour, stirring until it becomes a dark brown; then pour over it the liquor in wmich the bird was boiled (unless it was a fish-eater), and bring the mixture to a boil. Put the bird in a hot dish, and serve with the gravy poured over it.
Pluck, draw, and singe. Wipe the bird inside and out. Rub the inside with salt and red pepper. Stuff the crop cavity, then the body, with either of the dressings mentioned below, allowing room for the filling to swell. Tie a string around the neck, and sew up the bod)'. Truss wings to body with wooden skewers. Pin thin slices of fat pork to breast in same way. Suspend the fowl before a high bed of hardwood coals, as previously described, and place a pan under it to catch drippings. Tie a clean rag on the end of a stick to baste with- Turn and baste frequently. Roast until well done (two to three hours). (See also page 294).
Meantime cleanse the gizzard, liver, and heart of the turkey thoroughly in cold water; mince them; put them in a pot with enough cold water to cover, and stew gently until tender; then place where they will keep warm until wanted. When the turkey is done, add the giblets with the water in which they were stewed to the drippings in pan; thicken with one or two tablespoonfuls of flour that has been stirred up in milk or water and browned in a pan; season with pepper and salt, and serve with the turkey. If you have butter, the fowl may be basted with it (melted, of course), and when stewing the giblets add a tablespoonful of butter and half a teacupful of evaporated milk.
(1) If chestnuts are procurable, roast a quart of them, remove shells, and mash. Add a teaspoonful of salt, and some pepper. Mix well together, and stuff the bird with them.
(2) Chop some fat salt pork very fine; soak stale bread or crackers in hot water, mash smooth, and mix with the chopped pork. Season with salt, pepper, sage, and chopped onion. No game bird save the wild turkey should be stuffed, unless you deliberately wish to disguise the natural flavor.
Pluck, draw, singe, wash inside with warm water, and wipe dry. Cut off head and neck close to backbone, leaving enough skin to turn over the stuffing. Draw sinews from legs, and cut off feet just below joint of leg. Press legs into sides and skewer them firmly. Stuff as above. Put the bird into enough hot water to cover it. Remove scum as it rises. Boil gently one and one-half to two hours. Serve with giblet sauce as above.
Waterfowl have two large oil glands in the tail, with which they oil their feathers. The oil in these glands imparts a strong, disagreeable flavor to the bird soon after it is killed. Hence the tail should always be removed betore cooking, To cook a large bird in a hurry.— Slice off sev^ eral fillets from the breast; impale them, with slices of pork, on a green switch; broil over the coals.
A good way to suspend a large bird before the fire is described by Dillon Wallace in his Lure of the Labrador Wild:
"George built a big fire — much bigger than usual. At the back he placed the largest green log he could find. Just in front of the fire, and at each side, he fixed a forked stake, and on these rested a cross-pole. From the center of the pole he suspended a piece of stout twine, which reached nearly to the ground, and tied the lower end into a noose.
"Then it was that the goose, nicely prepared for the cooking, was brought forth. Through it at the wings George stuck a sharp wooden pin, leaving the ends to protrude on each side. Through the legs he stuck a similar pin in a similar fashion. This being done, he slipped the noose at the end of the twine over the ends of one of the pins. And lo and behold! the goose was suspended before the fire.
"It hung low — just high enough to permit the placing of a dish under it to catch the gravy. Now and then George gave it a twirl so that none of its sides might have reason to complain at not receiving its share of the heat. The lower end roasted first; seeing which, George took the goose off, reversed it, and set it twirling again".
A goose or a middling-sized turkey takes about two hours to roast, a large turkey three hours, a duck about forty-five minutes, a pheasant twenty to thirty minutes, a woodcock or snipe fifteen to twenty minutes.
The bird should be dry-picked, and the head left on. Put a little pepper and salt inside the bird, but no other dressing. Lay the duck on its back in the bake-pan. Put no water in the pan. The oven must be hot, but not hot enough to burn; test with the hand. Baste frequently with butter or bacon. A canvasback requires about thirty minutes; other birds according to size. When done, the duck should be plump, and the flesh red, not blue.