HOW TO CARVE PIGEONS

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A very good way of carving these birds is to insert the knife at fig. 1, and cut both ways to 2 and 3, when each portion may be divided into two pieces, then served. Pigeons, if not too large, may be cut in halves, either across or down the middle, cutting them into two equal parts; if young and small they may be served entirely whole.

Tame pigeons should be cooked as soon as possible after they are killed, as they very quickly lose their flavor. Wild pigeons, on the contrary, should hang a day or two in a cool place before they are dressed. Oranges cut into halves are used as a garnish for dishes of small birds, such as pigeons, quail, woodcock, squabs, snipe, etc. These small birds are either served whole or split down the back, making two servings.

HOW TO CARVE A PHEASANT

carving-pheasant or partridge

Place your fork firmly in the center of the breast of this large game bird and cut deep slices to the bone at figs. 1 and 2; then take off the leg in the line from 3 and 4, and the wing 3 and 5, severing both sides the same. In taking off the wings, be careful not to cut too near the neck; if you do you will hit upon the neck-bone, from which the wing must be separated.

Pass the knife through the line 6, towards the neck, which will detach it. Cut the other parts as in a fowl.

The breast, wings and merry-thought of a pheasant are the most highly prized, although the legs are considered very finely flavored. Pheasants are frequently roasted with the head left on; in that case, when dressing them, bring the head round under the wing, and fix it on the point of a skewer.

HOW TO CARVE A ROAST PARTRIDGE

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Partridges are generally cleaned and trussed the same way as a pheasant, but the custom of cooking them with the heads on is going into disuse somewhat. The usual way of carving them is similar to a pigeon, dividing it into two equal parts.

Another method of carving a roast partridge is to cut it into three pieces, by severing a wing and leg on either side from the body, by following the lines 1 to 2, thus making two servings of those parts, leaving the breast for a third plate.

The third method of carving a roast partridge is to thrust back the body from the legs, and cut through the middle of the breast, thus making four portions that may be served. Grouse and prairie-chicken are carved from the breast when they are large, and quartered or halved when of medium size.

HOW TO CARVE A ROAST DUCK

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A young duckling may be carved in the same manner as a fowl, the legs and wings being taken off first on either side. When the duck is full size, carve it like a goose; first cutting it in slices from the breast, beginning close to the wing and proceeding upward towards the breast bone, as is represented by the lines 1 to 2. An opening may be made by cutting out a circular slice, as shown by the dotted lines at number 3.

Some are fond of the feet, and when dressing the duck, these should be neatly skinned and never removed. Wild duck is highly esteemed by epicures; it is trussed like a tame duck, and carved in the same manner, the breast being the choicest part.

HOW TO CARVE A ROAST CHICKEN

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First insert the knife between the leg and the body, and cut to the bone; then turn the leg back with the fork, and if the fowl is tender the joint will give away easily. The wing is broken off the same way, only dividing the joint with the knife, in the direction from 1 to 2. The four quarters having been removed in this way, take off the merry-thought and the neck-bones; these last are to be removed by putting the knife in at figs. 3 and 4, pressing it hard, when they will break off from the part that sticks to the breast.

To separate the breast from the body of the fowl, cut through the tender ribs close to the breast, quite down to the tail. Now turn the fowl over, back upwards; put the knife into the bone midway between the neck and the rump, and on raising the lower end it will separate readily.

Now turn the rump from you, and take off very neatly the two side bones, and the fowl is carved. In separating the thigh from the drumstick, the knife must be inserted exactly at the joint, for if not accurately hit, some difficulty will be experienced to get them apart; this is easily acquired by practice.

There is no difference in carving roast and boiled fowls if full grown; but in very young fowls the breast is usually served whole; the wings and breast are considered the best parts, but in young ones the legs are the mostjuicy.

In the case of a capon or large fowl, slices may be cut off at the breast, the same as carving a pheasant.

HOW TO CARVE A ROAST GOOSE

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To carve a goose, first begin by separating the leg from the body, by putting the fork into the small end of the limb, pressing it closely to the body, then passing the knife under at 2, and turning the leg back as you cut through the joint. To take off the wing, insert the fork in the small end of the pinion, and press it close to the body; put the knife in at fig. 1, and divide the joint. When the legs and wings are off, the breast may be carved in long, even slices, as represented in the lines from 1 to 2. The back and lower side bones, as well as the two lower side bones by the wing, may be cut off; but the best pieces of the goose are the breast and thighs, after being separated from the drumsticks. Serve a little of the dressing from the inside, by making a circular slice in the apron at fig. 3. A goose should never be over a year old; a tough goose is very difficult to carve, and certainly most difficult to eat.

HOW TO CARVE A HAUNCH OF VENISON

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A haunch of venison is the prime joint, and is carved very similar to almost any roasted or boiled leg; it should be first cut crosswise down to the bone following the line from 1 to 2; then turn the platter with the knuckle farthest from you, put in the point of the knife, and cut down as far as you can, in the directions shown by the dotted lines from 3 to 4; then there can be taken out as many slices as is required on the right and left of this. Slices of venison should be cut thin, and gravy given with them, but as there is a special sauce made with red wine and currant jelly to accompany this meat, do not serve gravy before asking the guest if he pleases to have any.

The fat of this meat is like mutton, apt to cool soon, and become hard and disagreeable to the palate; it should, therefore, be served always on warm plates, and the platter kept over a hot-water dish, or spirit lamp. Many cooks dish it up with a white paper frill pinned around the knuckle bone.

A haunch of mutton is carved the same as a haunch of venison.

HOW TO CARVE A HAM

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The carver in cutting a ham must be guided according as he desires to practice economy, or have at once fine slices out of the prime part. Under the first supposition, he will commence at the knuckle end, and cut off thin slices toward the thick and upper part of the ham.

To reach the choicer portion of the ham, the knife, which must be very sharp and thin, should be carried quite down to the bone through the thick fat in the direction of the line from 1 to 2.

The slices should be even and thin, cutting both lean and fat together, always cutting down to the bone. Some cut a circular hole in the middle of a ham gradually enlarging it outwardly. Then again many carve a ham by first cutting from 1 to 2, then across the other way from 3 to 4.

Remove the skin after the ham is cooked and send to the table with dots of dry pepper or dry mustard on the top, a tuft of fringed paper twisted about the knuckle, and plenty of fresh parsley around the dish. This will always insure an inviting appearance.

Roast Pig.—The modern way of serving a pig is not to send it to the table whole, but have it carved partially by the cook; first, by dividing the shoulder from the body; then the leg in the same manner; also separating the ribs into convenient portions. The head may be divided and placed on the same platter. To be served as hot as possible.

A Spare Rib of Pork is carved by cutting slices from the fleshy part, after which the bones should be disjointed and separated.

A leg of pork may be carved in the same manner as a ham.

HOW TO CARVE A FORE-QUARTER OF LAMB

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The first cut to be made in carving a fore-quarter of lamb is to separate the shoulder from the breast and ribs; this is done by passing a sharp carving knife lightly around the dotted line as shown by the figs. 3, 4 and 5, so as to cut through the skin, and then, by raising with a little force the shoulder, into which the fork should be firmly fixed, it will easily separate with just a little more cutting with the knife; care should be taken not to cut away too much of the meat from the breast when dividing the shoulder from it, as that would mar its appearance. The shoulder may be placed upon a separate dish for convenience.

The next process is to divide the ribs from the brisket by cutting through the meat in the line from 1 to 2; then the ribs may be carved in the direction of the line 6 to 7, and the brisket from 8 to 9. The carver should always ascertain whether the guest prefers ribs, brisket, or a piece of the shoulder.

HOW TO CARVE A LEG OF LAMB or LEG OF MUTTON

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The best mutton, and that from which most nourishment is obtained is that of sheep from three to six years old, and which have been fed on dry, sweet pastures; then mutton is in its prime, the flesh being firm, juicy, dark colored and full of the richest gravy. When mutton is two years old, the meat is flabby, pale and flavorless.

In carving a roasted leg, the best slices are found by cutting quite down to the bone, in the direction from 1 to 2, and slices may be taken from either side.

Some very good cuts are taken from the broad end from 5 to 6, and the fat on this ridge is very much liked by many. The cramp-bone is a delicacy, and is obtained by cutting down to the bone at 4, and running the knife under it in a semicircular direction to 3. The nearer the knuckle the drier the meat, but the under side contains the most finely grained meat, from which slices may be cut lengthwise. When sent to the table a frill of paper around the knuckle will improve its appearance.