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In selecting poultry full-grown fowls have the best flavor, provided they are young. The age may be determined by turning the wing backward--if it yields, it is tender. The same is true if the skin on the leg is readily broken. Older poultry makes the best soup. The intestines should be removed at once, but frequently in shipping they are left in and, hence, when removed, the fowl needs washing in several waters. The next to the last water should contain a half teaspoonful of baking soda, which sweetens and renders all more wholesome. The giblets are the gizzard, heart, liver and neck."-- from The Bride's Cook Book, ca. 1915.
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Carefully pluck the bird and singe off the down with lighted paper; break the leg bone close to the foot, hang up the bird and draw out the strings of the thigh. Never cut the breast; make a small slit down the back of the neck and take out the crop that way, then cut the neck bone close, and after the bird is stuffed the skin can be turned over the back and the crop will look full and round. Cut around the vent, making the hole as small as possible, and draw carefully, taking care that the gall bag and the intestines joining the gizzard are not broken. Open the gizzard, take out the contents and detach the liver from the gall bladder. The liver, gizzard and heart, if used in the gravy, will need to be boiled an hour and a half and chopped as fine as possible. Wash the turkey and wipe thoroughly dry, inside and out; then fill the inside with stuffing, and sew the skin of the neck over the back. Sew up the opening at the vent, then run a long skewer into the pinion and thigh through the body, passing it through the opposite pinion and thigh. Put a skewer in the small part of the leg, close on the outside and push it through. Pass a string over the points of the skewers and tie it securely at the back.
Sprinkle well with ... flour, cover the breast with nicely-buttered white paper, place on a grating in the dripping-pan and put in the oven to roast. Baste every fifteen minutes--a few times with butter and water, and then with the gravy in the dripping-pan. Do not have too hot an oven. A turkey weighing ten pounds will require three hours to bake."-- from The Bride's Cook Book, ca. 1915.