Poultry -

Within this classification come all domesticated birds bred and raised for use as human food. The most common types are chickens, DUCKS, turkeys, geese, pigeons and guinea-fowls. Other birds occasionally domesticated for the same purpose are peafowl (peacocks), Quail, pheasants and swans. Wild duck, wild turkey, etc., come under "game birds" instead of "poultry."

The CHICKEN, Turkey, Guinea-Fowl, Partridge, Pheasant, Grouse and Quail belong to the same order, known as Gallinae or "Comb bearers." They are distinguished by the flesh of the breast and wings being lighter in color than that of other parts of the body. DUCKS, geese and swans are "dark meat" birds. Pigeons belong midway between the two classes, the flesh on the breast being only slightly lighter.

It is estimated that more than 250 million poultry birds are consumed annually in the United States alone.

Good general rules for the selection of dressed poultry, are to see that the eyes are bright; the feet, soft, moist and limber; the body plump and firm, and the skin of clear color - a yellow tint being best liked in this country - and free from bruises or stains. With the approach of staleness, the eyes shrink and the feet dry and harden. At a later stage, the body becomes dark and greenish.

The age can be determined with fair accuracy by (1) the lower tip of the breast bone, which should be as flexible in a very young bird as the human ear, becoming brittle at a year or so and hard and tough when older; (2) the feet, which are soft and smooth in young, and hard and rough in old birds, and (3) the claws, which are short and sharp in the young, and larger and blunter in the older.

poultry should always be washed before using, the best method being to use a soft brush and warm water in which a little baking soda has been dissolved.

Cold storage poultry should never be allowed to remain in a warm room before cooking. It should be kept at a low temperature until desired for use.

In India it is customary in many parts to skin fowls without plucking the feathers, and country residents who find very troublesome the task of plucking, might avoid it in this way. The method seems radical, but for the majority of culinary purposes, especially for fricassee, the result is entirely satisfactory. The skinning is easily performed by slitting the skin from the beak down the breast to the tail and, laterally, at each wing and leg.

In Italian markets it is a general thing to dismember a certain number of fowls so that customers may purchase separate parts in any quantity needed. Various trays or other receptacles are displayed - one full of breasts, another of wings, a third of legs and others of livers and other "giblets." This method offers many advantages. A housewife with a lean purse can buy a few cents' worth of the cheaper parts, instead of being compelled to purchase an entire bird or deny herself the pleasure of having CHICKEN on the table. Others, to whom the matter of price is not so important, also find it both convenient and economical, as they can purchase any desired quantity of the choicer parts without having to provide a way to dispose of the less desirable portions. A popular dish in well-to-do houses is, for example, a pan of CHICKEN breasts, garnished perhaps with pieces of ham or sausage - to serve such a dish under general American market conditions would probably necessitate purchasing a half-dozen or more whole chickens.

Retailers catering to a "good" class of trade will find that attractive methods of marketing are especially applicable to poultry. Chickens and other birds packed in suitable baskets, lined and covered with linen, white paper, etc., will bring much better prices than the same birds carelessly handled.

The directions under MEATS for their proper keeping, apply equally to poultry of all kinds. See also articles on CHICKEN, DUCKS, etc.

Arround Poultry in The Grocer's Encyclopedia

Potted, and Deviled, Meatshome
Poultry Seasoning

The Grocer's Encyclopedia
TOP 200

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