The next time you find yourself presented with a live chicken in payment for yard work, you will be able to reference Maggie Ritchey’s notes on how to deal with it once it is no longer living. It goes without saying that you will need to pluck it first.
First cut the head off where the neck is broken. Turn the fowl on its breast, catch hold of the neck with a piece of paper & cut down the skin about two inches. Loosen everything from the neck & cut it off. Put your four [sic] finger and thumb into the crop & loosen all the skin from it then pass the finger through the body and break the skin right round. Take nothing away, make a small cut across the vent. Press from the breast downward through the vent, when everything ought to come clean away. Remember when you are taking away the gall bladder not to break it. Cut the feet off & hold them in boiling water for a minute or two to remove the ruff [sic] skin. Wipe the inside of the fowl out with a cloth & if there are any hairs on it singe them by lighting a piece of paper. Take both the wings in your hands & turn them back. Turn the fowl on its back, take hold of the right wing. Run a trussing needle through it & shove up the left leg. Pass the needle through it & left wing. Turn the fowl on its breast & tie a knot. Again shove up the right leg, pass the needle over it, over the left leg, also at the lower joint & tie it. Place the fowl on a well greased baking sheet with the liver tucked under the right wing & gizzard in the left. Place some pieces of fat on the top of the fowl. Put the tin in the oven and bake about 1 to 1 1/2 hours according to the size of the fowl. Serve with a good brown & bread sauce.