To Dress and Clean Poultry

Remove hairs and down by holding the bird over a flame (from gas, alcohol, or burning paper) and constantly changing position until all parts of surface have been exposed to flame; this is known as singeing. Cut off the head and draw out pinfeathers, using a small pointed knife. Cut through the skin around the leg one and one-half inches below the leg joint, care being taken not to cut tendons; place leg at this cut over edge of board, press downward to snap the bone, then take foot in right hand, holding bird firmly in left hand, and pull off foot, and with it the tendons. In old birds the tendons must be drawn separately, which is best accomplished by using a steel skewer. Make an incision through skin below breastbone, just large enough to admit the hand. With the hand remove entrails, gizzard, heart, and liver; the last three named constitute what is known as giblets. The gall bladder, lying on the under surface of the right lobe of the liver, is removed with liver, and great care must be taken that it is not broken, as a small quantity of the bile which it contains would impart a bitter flavor to the parts with which it came in contact. Enclosed by the ribs, on either side of backbone, may be found the lungs, of spongy consistency and red color. Care must be taken that every part of them is removed. Kidneys, lying in the hollow near end of backbone, must also be removed. By introducing first two fingers under skin close to neck, the windpipe may be easily found and withdrawn; also the crop, which will be found adhering to skin close to breast. Draw down neck skin, and cut off neck close to body, leaving skin long enough to fasten under the back. Remove oil bag, and wash bird by allowing cold water to run through it, not allowing bird to soak in cold water. Wipe inside and outside, looking carefully to see that everything has been withdrawn. If there is disagreeable odor, suggesting that fowl may have been kept too long, clean at once, wash inside and out with soda water, and sprinkle inside with charcoal and place some under wings.

Poultry dressed at market seldom have tendons removed unless so ordered. It is always desirable to have them withdrawn, as they become hard and bony during cooking. It is the practice of market-men to cut a gash through the skin, to easier reach crop and windpipe. This gash must be sewed before stuffing, and causes the bird to look less attractive when cooked.

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