The Bird - 2007

Trussing Poultry for Roasting

These instructions appeared in Godey’s Lady’s Book in January of 1859.

Trussing for roasting is managed in a different way from that for boiling, described herein. The following list of the methods adopted for roasting include the various kinds of poultry and game. It should be carefully remarked, that all skewers and strings should be removed after roasting, except the fine thread used in sewing up the belly of a hare or rabbit.

Godey’s Lady’s Book— Louis Antoine Godey began publishing Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1830. He designed his monthly magazine specifically to attract the growing audience of literate American women. The magazine was intended to entertain, inform, and educate the women of America.

Trussing a Bird(a) TURKEYS , FOWLS, AND PIGEONS are trussed alike, with very slight variations. The legs are first broken half-way between the feet and the next joint, then fixing the feet in a door-joint, or a table-drawer, or in a screw-press, the sinews are torn out. Next, place a doubled-up cloth on the breast, and press or beat the bone till it gives way. After this, the wings have a slit cut in their thin expansion of skin, and through this the gizzard and liver are passed, one on each side; next to which the pinions are turned over the back, and a wooden skewer is passed through the flesh of each wing close to the bone, transfixing the body, and also each thigh. The head is cut off close to the body, first drawing the skin well back, so as to leave a long covering for the end. This piece of skin is then passed under the ends of the pinions, or, if in a stuffed turkey , it is tied with a piece of coarse string, which is removed after roasting. In stuffing, be careful not to fill the skin too full, or it will burst in roasting.

Trussing a BirdAll is now described but the legs, which should have been pushed up under the skin of the breast, and secured there by the skewer transfixing them and the wings through the body, and passing through them close to the joints. The horny skin is scaled and peeled, after which a piece of string, or a small skewer, at the small end of the legs, completes the operation. If the skewer is used, it transfixes the side-bone. (See Figs. 1, 2, and 3.)

Trussing a Bird(b) GEESE AND DUCKS have their heads cut off in the same way as described at (a); but the legs are cut off at the first joint above the feet, and the wings are also removed at the first joint.

Sometimes, however, the legs of ducks are left on as in fowls. Next, introduce the stuffing and tie the skin, as described at (a).

After this, the wings are transfixed by a skewer through the body, and the legs the same, keeping them down by the side of the side-bones. The giblets, including the pinions, legs, liver, heart, gizzard, head, and neck, are separately cooked. (See Figs. 4 and 5.)

Trussing a Bird

Trussing a Bird(c) WILD FOWL are trussed as described at (b), except that their legs are left on, and twisted each at the knuckle, so as to rest the claws on each side the back, where they are secured by transfixing them with a skewer, which also tacks the end of the pinion.

The legs are scalded, to get off the outside skin. (See Fig. 6.)

(d) FOWLS AND PARTRIDGES are now often trussed so as to conceal the legs under the skin, and to dispense with skewers altogether. This is done by first rolling the skin backwards and forwards over the roots of the thighs, and then pushing these joints completely under the skin of the breast. Trussing a BirdNext, take a long, straight trussing-needle, and pass it through the end of the first pinion across the body, and into that of the opposite side, bringing it back through the joint of the thigh, while thus under the skin, then carry it across and transfix the opposite thigh in the same way, and tie it to the other end of the string tight enough to maintain the proper shape. After this, the legs only require to be tied to complete the trussing. There is, however, no advantage in this plan over the skewers, and the string is more difficult to withdraw. (See Fig. 7.)

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