For Smaller Birds Cooked By Any Method

Doneness of smaller birds is determined in the following ways.

1. Looseness of joints.The leg moves freely in its socket.

2. Clear juices. Juices inside the cavity of a roasted bird are clear yellow rather than cloudy and red or pink.

3. Flesh separating from bone. Muscles begin to pull away from bones, especially breastbone and leg bones. Excessively shrunken flesh means it's overcooked and dry.

4. Firmness to touch.Test with finger pressure as you would a steak (see p. 276).This method is especially useful for sauteed boneless chicken breasts.

Not recommended: Do not test by piercing deeply with a fork and twisting the flesh.Too many valuable juices will be lost.

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