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Koshering Fowl

Koshering Fowl

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KOSHERING FOWL

The koshering process for fowl is the same as for meat: rinsing, soaking, salting, and triple rinsing. In addition, there are extensive preparations of the fowl which are often left to be done at home. It is therefore important to know and recognize the parts of the fowl which must be removed.

It is preferable to cut the fowl in half for the koshering process. If one wishes to roast or broil it whole, the opening should be wide enough to remove all the insides. Special care should be taken to see that all blood clots and internal organs are completely removed. When salting, be sure that the inside surfaces are covered with salt.

The following steps are taken before koshering:

Feathers: The feathers are removed from the fowl before the koshering process. The fowl may not be soaked in warm water to soften the feathers nor held over a large fire. However, one may pass the fowl lightly over a small flame to remove the pinfeathers, moving it continuously so that the fowl will not become heated.

Head and Neck: The complete head is removed. The complete food pipe (gullet), and windpipe are removed before salting thus allowing better salting of the rest of the neck. As mentioned above, all blood clots and discolorations must be removed. These are extremely common at the top of the neck (close to where the slaughtering took place), and it is therefore necessary to cut off the top of the neck.

Veins: The two thin white veins inside the neck must be removed. They can be exposed by cutting into the bottom of the neck and then pulled out, or by cutting down the length of the neck.

If it is too difficult to remove them, at least cut several slits into the neck so that the blood will flow out of the veins.

Wings: The ends of the wings are removed.

Legs: The tips of the toes including the nails from the toes of the fowl are removed. The leg is cut into at the joint which joins the foot to the drumstick.

Insides: All internal organs must be removed before koshering.

  • The stomach must be opened, the inner membrane and all waste products removed, then the stomach wall checked to make sure it has not been punctured by a stone or nail.
  • The intestines should be checked for punctures.
  • The liver is set aside for broiling (see Koshering Liver, below).
  • One must be careful to remove the kidneys. They are located in the cavity on the inside of the back (thigh), and are sometimes a little difficult to remove. Occasionally, they may be discovered inside a fowl even after it has been koshered, in which case they should be removed.
  • If one wishes to eat any of the internal organs, consult a qualified rabbi as to their preparation.

Handling the Fowl During the Koshering Process

Before preparing fowl for koshering, be sure to read the preceding instructions for koshering meat. All of the steps outlined in the previous section on Koshering Meat apply when koshering fowl. However, due to the many crevices and folds of skin, the additional precautions for koshering fowl are listed below.

Rinsing: The fowl must be rinsed off very well, especially in the following places:

  • The hole of the neck (the head and skin of the neck must have already been removed),
  • all the folds, e.g. near the wings,
  • between the skin and meat in the places they have separated, all around the fat.

Salting: The fowl should be salted all over very well, and especially in all the crevices mentioned above.

If the fowl is still whole, be sure the entire inside is covered with salt.

Placing on the Board: When the fowl is to be placed on the board after it is salted it should be placed so that the blood can flow out. If it has been cut in half, then the cavity should be placed facing downward. If it is whole, it should be placed with the larger hole downward.

Eggs Found in Fowl

Eggs which are found in a freshly slaughtered fowl and have not yet developed a shell should be koshered according to the regular koshering process and are considered fleishig ("meat"). However, they should be placed on the top of the board so that no blood from the other pieces of meat can flow on them. The skin of the eggs must be removed before soaking. These eggs should be prepared in meat utensils.

Regarding the koshering and use of eggs which have already begun to develop a shell, and their status as to fleishig or pareve, a qualified rabbi must be consulted.

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