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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/793

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1226.—FOWL, ROAST, GERMAN STYLE. (Fr.Poulet Rôti aux Marrons.)

Ingredients.—1 fowl, veal farce, 1 lb. of chestnuts, 1 lb. of sausages, 1 pint of good stock, 1 oz. of butter, 1 oz. of flour, 1 lemon, salt and pepper, butter or fat for basting.

Method.—Slit the skins of the chestnuts, throw them into boiling water, cook them for 15 minutes, then remove both skins, and bake until tender. When ready, lay a dozen aside, put the remainder into the body of the bird, and stuff the crop with veal forcemeat. Truss into shape and roast in front of a clear fire or in a moderately-hot oven for about 1 hour, basting frequently. Meanwhile melt the butter, fry the flour until lightly-browned, then add the stock and stir until boiling. Season to taste, add the remaining 12 chestnuts, and simmer gently for 10 or 15 minutes. Serve garnished with fried sausage and slices of lemon, and send the sauce to table separately.

Time.—About 1 hour. Average Cost, 4s. 6d. to 5s. Sufficient for 5 or 6 persons. Seasonable in winter.

The Cochin China.—This familiar fowl, a native of Cochin China, now common among our domestic poultry was, on the introduction of the first pair of these birds from Shanghai, the occasion of a remarkable furore among poultry fanciers. The fowls were exhibited by the late Queen Victoria, to whom they had been presented at the Dublin Poultry Show of 1846. They created an immense sensation; the approaches to the house of a dealer who possessed some of these birds were blocked by broughams, carriages and cabs, containing people eager to obtain specimens of the new importation. Large sums were paid for the coveted birds, and guineas were weighed against the eggs. The reign of Cochin China was, however, of short duration. The bird is large and ungainly in appearance, but is an excellent layer even during the winter, and its buff-coloured eggs are much esteemed; the quality of its flesh is inferior to that of the Dorking and some other breeds, but by cross breeding with other varieties it is much improved.

1227.—FOWL, ROAST, STUFFED. (Fr.Poulet Farci rôti.)

Ingredients.—1 fowl, veal forcemeat, No. 396, bread sauce, gravy (see "Sauces and Gravies"), thin slices of bacon.

Method.—Press the forcemeat lightly into the crop of the fowl, truss into shape, and roast in front of a clear fire, or in a moderately-hot oven for about 1 hour. Serve garnished with crisply-fried rolls of bacon, and hand round bread sauce and gravy separately.

Time.—About 1 hour. Average Cost, 3s. 9d. to 4s. 6d. Sufficient for 4 or 5 persons. Seasonable at any time.

The Game Fowl (Fr. coq de combat.)—This bird, known for its pugnacious disposition and handsome plumage, has been domesticated from early ages. Pliny writes: "The gait of the cock is proud and commanding; he walks with head erect and elevated crest; alone of all birds, he habitually looks up to the sky, raising at the same time his curved and scythe-formed tail, and inspiring terror in the lion himself, that most intrepid of animals. ... They regulate the conduct of our magistrates, and open or close to them their own houses. They prescribe rest or movement to the Roman forces; they command or prohibit battles. In a word, they lord it over the masters of the world." Among the Greeks as well as the Romans, "alectomancy," or divination by means of a cock was practised, as in the case of deciding the day on which a battle should be fought. A grain of corn was placed on the letter of each day in the week, turned face downwards; the sacred cock was then liberated, and according to the letter he picked the corn from, the time of battle was regulated. The breeding of game fowls for cock-fighting was in practice many hundred years before the Christian era, for Themistocles (514-449 b.c.), The Athenian King, is said to have taken advantage of a pitched battle between two cocks to harangue his soldiers on their courage. "Observe" he said, "with what intrepid valour they fight, inspired by no other motive than love of victory; whereas you have to contend for your religion and liberty, for your wives and children, and for the tombs of your ancestors."