Some epicures say that the woodcock should never be drawn, but that they should be fastened to a small bird spit, and should be put to roast before a clear fire; a slice of toast, put in a pan below each bird, in order to catch the trail; baste them with melted butter; lay the toast on a hot dish, and the birds on the toast. They require from fifteen to twenty minutes to roast. Snipe are dressed in the same manner, but require less time to cook. My pet plan to cook woodcock is to draw the bird and split it down the back, and then to broil it, basting it with butter; chop up the intestines, season them with pepper and salt, and saute them on a frying pan with butter; lay the birds on toast upon a hot dish and pour the saute over them.
Select young fat ducks; pick them nicely, singe, and draw them carefully without washing them so as to preserve the blood and consequently the full flavor of the bird; then truss it and place it on the spit before a brisk fire, or in a pan in a hot oven for at least fifteen or twenty minutes; then serve it hot with its own gravy, which is formed by its own blood and juices, on a hot dish. It may also be a little less cooked, and then carved and placed on a chafing dish with red currant jelly, port wine, and a little butter.
A pheasant should have a clear, steady fire, but not a fierce one. The pheasant, being a rather dry bird, requires to be larded, or put a piece of beef or a rump steak into the inside of it before roasting.
In order to serve these birds in their most succulent state and finest flavor, let them hang in their feathers for a few days after being shot; then pluck, clean, and draw, and roast them in a quick oven or before a brisk fire; dredge and baste them well, and allow them twenty minutes to roast; serve them with gravy sauce and red currant jelly, or with a gravy sauce to which a chopped shallot and the juice of an orange has been added.
The following exquisite sauce is applicable to all wild fowl: Take one saltspoon of salt, half to two-thirds salt spoon of Cayenne, one dessert spoon lemon juice, one dessert spoon powdered sugar, two dessert spoons Harvey sauce, three dessert spoons port wine, well mixed and heated; score the bird and pour the sauce over it.
Cut a couple of rabbits into joints, fry these in a little fresh butter till they are of a light brown color; then put them into a stewpan, with a pint of water, two tablespoonfuls of lemon juice, the same of mushroom catchup, one of Worcester sauce, and a couple of burnt onions, a little Cayenne and salt; stew over a slow fire till perfectly done; then take out the meat, strain the gravy, and thicken it with a little flour if necessary; make it quite hot, and pour it over the rabbits.