Poultry and game

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Birds to be frozen should be in perfect condition. They should be starved for 24 hours before killing, then hung and bled well. When the bird is plucked, it is important to avoid skin damage; if scalding, beware of over-scalding which may increase the chance of freezer-burn (grey spots occurring during storage). The bird should be cooled in a refrigerator or cold larder for 12 hours, drawn and completely cleaned. With geese and ducks, it is particularly important to make sure that the oil glands are removed as these will cause tainting.
Giblets have only a storage life of 2 months, so unless a whole bird is to be used within that time, it is not advisable to pack them inside the bird. Giblets should be cleaned, washed, dried and chilled, then wrapped in moisture-vapour-proof paper or a bag, excluding air, and frozen in batches. Livers should be treated in the same way.
Joints should be divided by two layers of freezer film. Bones of young birds may turn brown in storage, but this does not affect flavour or quality.

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