After Dressing and washing the CHICKENs as previously directed, split them open through the backbone; frog them by cutting the cords under the wings and laying the wings out flat; cut the sinews under the second joint of the leg and turn the leg down; press down the breast-bone without breaking it.
Season the CHICKEN with salt and pepper, lay it upon the gridiron with the inside first to the fire; put the gridiron over a slow fire, and place a tin sheet and weight upon the CHICKEN, to keep it flat; let it broil ten minutes, then turn and proceed in the same manner with the other side.
The CHICKEN should be perfectly cooked, but not scorched. A broiled CHICKEN brought to the table with its wings and legs burnt, and its breast half cooked, is very disagreeable. To avoid this, the CHICKEN must be closely watched while broiling, and the fire must be arranged so that the heat shall be equally dispensed. When the fire is too hot under any one part of the CHICKEN, put a little ashes on the fire under that part, that the heat may be reduced.
Dish a broiled CHICKEN on a hot plate, putting a large lump of butter and a tablespoonful of hot water upon the plate, and turning the CHICKEN two or three times that it may absorb as much of the butter as possible. Garnish with parsley. Serve with poached eggs on a separate dish. It takes from thirty to forty minutes to broil a CHICKEN well.
The Whitehouse Cookbook, by Mrs. F.L. Gillette (Year 1887)