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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/768

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HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT

required. Have the Béchamel sauce ready in a stewpan, add to it the chicken preparation, season with salt and pepper, put in the lemon-juice, and stir the mixture over the fire until thoroughly hot. Fill the cases, put on the lids, and serve, garnished with tufts of fresh or fried parsley.

Time.—To bake the pastry, from 20 to 25 minutes. Average Cost, 1s. 6d. to 2s. Sufficient for 8 or 9 patties.

Hatching.—Sometimes the chick within the shell is unable to break away from its prison; for the white of the egg will occasionally harden in the air to the consistence of joiners' glue, when the poor chick is in a terrible fix. All able writer says: "Assistance in hatching must not be rendered prematurely, and thence unnecessarily, but only in the case of the chick being plainly unable to release itself; then, indeed, an addition may probably be made to the brood, as great numbers are always lost in this way. The chick makes a circular fracture at the big end of the egg, and a section of about one-third of the length of the shell being separated, delivers the prisoner, provided there is no obstruction from adhesion of the body to the membrane which lines the shell. Between the body of the chick and the membrane of the shell there exists a viscous fluid, the white of the egg thickened with the intense heat of incubation, until it becomes a positive glue. When this happens the feathers stick fast to the shell, and the chicks remain confined, and must perish if not released."

The method of assistance to be rendered to chicks which have a difficulty in releasing themselves from the shells is to take the egg in the hand, and dipping the finger or a piece of linen rag in warm water, to apply it to the fastened parts until they are loosened by the gluey substance becoming dissolved and separated from the feathers. The chick, then, being returned to the nest, will extricate itself—a mode generally to be observed—since, if violence were used, it would prove fatal. Nevertheless, breaking the shell may sometimes be necessary; and separating with the fingers, as gently as may be, the membrane from the feathers, which are still to be moistened as mentioned above, to facilitate the operation. The points of small scissors may be useful, and when there is much resistance, as also apparent pain to the bird, the process must be conducted in the gentlest manner, and the shell separated into a number of small pieces. The signs of a need of assistance are the egg being partly pecked and chipped, and the chick discontinuing its efforts for five or six hours. Weakness from cold may disable the chicken from commencing the operation of pecking the shell, which must then be artificially performed with a circular fracture, similar to that made by the bird itself

1180.—CHICKEN PIE. (Fr.Pâté de Volaille à l'Anglaise.)

Ingredients.—1 large or 2 small chickens, ½ a lb. of ham or bacon, 2 hard-boiled eggs, veal forcemeat balls, No. 412, ¾ of a pint of chicken stock, 1 yolk of egg, salt and pepper, puff paste,

Method.—Divide the chickens into neat joints, cut off the legs and wings at the first joint, and boil these with the backbones, necks and gizzards for about 2 hours, then strain and use for stock. Parboil the livers, chop them very finely, and mix them with the forcemeat. Cut the ham into strips, and the eggs into sections or slices. Place the pieces of chicken and the prepared ingredients in a pie-dish in layers, season carefully with salt and pepper, ¾ fill the dish with stock. Roll out the paste, cover the piedish with it, ornament, and brush over with yolk of egg. Bake from 1¼ to 1½ hours, in a quick oven, until the paste has risen and set, and then more slowly. Before serving, add the remainder of the hot stock to the pie. If preferred, the bones may be removed and the pieces of chicken stuffed with sausage-meat, or the veal forcemeat may be used for this purpose instead of being made into balls. See also the forcemeat used in making "Lark Pie."

Time.—To bake the pie, from 1¼ to 1½ hours. Average Cost, if with 2 chickens, about 8s. Sufficient for 7 or 8 persons.