4lb Boiling fowl with Neck and giblets
2tb Finely chopped mixed fresh Savory, parsley, hyssop and Sage
Salt and pepper
1˝lb Piece boiling bacon
2 cups Strong dry cider
Extra herbs to garnish


Neck, liver and heart From the bird
1tbs Of the herb mixture above
Salt and pepper
8tbs Soft white breadcrumbs
1 Egg beaten


This was a cheap and easy dish on which youngsters could practise when learning to carve poultry.

Ask a kindly poulterer to cut off the bird's head and to supply the whole neck in its skin along with the prepared bird and giblets.

Mix the herbs together and put a tablespoonful aside.  Add a light seasoning of salt and pepper to the rest and fill the mixture into the body cavity of the bird.

Stitch or skewer the cavity openings securely.  Truss the bird for boiling and place it on a trivet in a stewpan which will also hold the bacon and liquids.

To prepare the neck, ease the spine and surrounding flesh out of the skin as if peeling off a stocking.  Do not break the skin.  Chop the liver and heart finely and mix with half the reserved herbs, a little seasoning and the breadcrumbs.  Bind with the egg.

Fill this mixture into the skin, allowing room for the bread to swell.  Fasten the ends of the sausage-shaped 'pudding' securely and add to the pan.  (If the skin is accidentally torn, or is not supplied, you can make the stuffing into small balls and fry or bake them, as an acceptable substitute.)

Mix the cider with 425 ml/15 fl oz/2 cups water and heat until nearly boiling.  Add the liquid to the pan, put on a well-fitting lid and poach the bird gently for 2-2 1/2 hours.

Add the bacon piece after 30 minutes and the stuffed neck after a further 15 minutes.  Top up the pan with extra boiling water then, or later if needed.

Test the bird for readiness after 2 hours by thrusting a thin skewer into the thickest part of the thigh.   The juices should run clear.  A smallish bird may be almost ready by this time, and the bacon piece should be done.

Take the bacon out, with the 'pudding', and leave both to rest for 10-15 minutes.

Then slice both to serve as a garnish for the poached bird.  Scatter a few extra herb leaves over the breast of the bird before serving.

© RIYAN Productions