Updated 2009-11-16 21:25:06 ID=555:1

© 2009 The Romantic Table
©2009 The Romantic Table, trussing poultry 2009-11-16 21:29:57:228
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For uniform cooking and a pretty presentation, learning how to truss poultry is a must!

How to Truss Poultry

When I was a girl helping my Mother and Grandmother prepare Thanksgiving dinner one of my jobs was to stuff the turkey and sew the cavity shut for roasting. Despite all my efforts, it usually never really stayed closed however, and there was always the problem of retrieving bits of thread from the bird as it was carved. The secret I learned later was to truss the bird.

One thing you can do to really improve the looks and uniform cooking of a chicken or turkey is to truss the bird with cotton kitchen string. Trussing does two important functions. First it pulls in the wings and legs against the body so they cook uniformly at the same rate as the rest of the bird. And second, it neatly and quickly closes off the cavity to hold in any stuffing or aromatics you have stuffed in the bird.

Here is a trussing method which makes short work of closing off the cavity, as well as improving the presentation of the roasted bird. This method works equally well for turkeys, ducks, chickens, and with a little care even on smaller birds like Rock Cornish game hens (if you are roasting them).

When trussed, the bird will cook much more uniformly and when served, instead of the typical "Death Sprawl" on a plate look, the bird will look sleek and appetizing.

©2009 The Romantic Table, trussing needle and cotton kitchen string. 2009-11-15 20:13:22:220
©2009 The Romantic Table

To truss a chicken you will need a trussing needle and cotton kitchen string. If you can't find a trussing needle, a knitting needle with a hole drilled in one end makes a good substitute. My favorite trussing needle was made that way, and I have had this one for many years.
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First fold the wing tips under the wings and pin the wings to the bird just in front the the wing joint.
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Pull the string all the way through (leaving a bit to tie), and insert the needle back through to the other side of the bird just forward of the joint where the string first came through. It should look like there is one big stitch holding the wing to the side of the bird.
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Pull the string all the way through to the side where you started, and pulling on the string to draw the wings tightly to the sides of the bird, tie a knot to secure the wings. Cut off any excess string.
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To close the cavity of the bird, start by inserting the trussing needle and string into the meaty part of the leg, under the leg bone.
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Continue inserting the trussing needle through a bit of the tail section, then through the opposite leg, again under the leg bone.
©2009 The Romantic Table 2009-11-15 20:04:39:226
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Pull the string through (leaving a bit to tie), then insert the needle on the opposite side through the thigh, through the top end of the breast and through the thigh where you started.
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To finish, pull the string taut to close the cavity and tie the ends of the string in a knot. The legs will be held in place by a big stitch on each side. In addition, like a purse string, as the string pulls the thighs in, it will lift the tail up and the breast down to completely close off the cavity.

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A tip from Sue!

Choosing a pot

The first thing you to do is get decent cookware. Nothing is more serviceable than stainless steel, that’s what the pros use and is mandated for all commercial restaurants.

Save yourself a lot of trouble and get the best quality stainless steel that you can afford. A few basic sizes will take you a long way!