Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Chicken

Let's break down a chicken. If you're a little squeamish, this might be a little hard to see, but if you want to save some money when you buy chicken at the store, you can save a dollar or more per pound if you cut it up yourself.


A boning knife is good for this one, but you don't necessarily need it.












To take off the leg & thigh first, grab the bone, and cut the skin where the leg and breast meet.













Once you start to cut away the skin, it should be really clear where the muscles separate. (You might even be able to pull it apart without cutting it.)


























Once you get down to the backbone, make sure you get the oyster meat out. It's in those notches right along the spine. You can slide your thumb under that meat and push it out. To separate the leg and thigh, dislocate the leg bone from the hip, and cut right between those two bones, and then follow the backbone with your knife, separating it from the rest of the carcass.







To cut the breast meat off, run your knife along the keel, and it should naturally go to one side or the other.












Lightly pull the breast muscle with one hand, and cut away the meat from the bone.




























Cut right through where the wing bone meets the top of the spine to separate it from the carcass, leaving it on the breast.













Here's the leftover carcass. There is a little bit of usable meat, but just a lot of tiny bits. If you make stock, then this is very useful, but you could probably only make about a quart of stock with this carcass.










To cut off the lower wing, cut through this stretchy piece of skin, in between the bones.













This is a nice presentation piece; when you cut the breasts up this way it's called Airline Chicken breast (because the wing is still on).












I'm going to make a chicken roulade, so cut off the wing and skin it.













Because the breast is thicker in some parts than others, cut it in half through the thickest part, but leaving it as one piece (this is called butterflying).











Put the breast in plastic wrap, and use a meat mallet until it is about 1/4" thick all the way around.



























I'm going to stuff it with sausage, sauteed garlic and shallots, and some greated cheese.













Spread out the sausage so it is half as thick as the chicken breast and add the other ingredients.













Roll it up.














You could tie it up as is, but chicken breast is very lean meat, so it gets dry pretty fast, so it's probably best to bard (wrap) with bacon.












Use a slip knot and continue to wrap it up so it stays in one piece.













Sear it over very high heat, browning the outside.





























Put it in an oven (350-400) until it reads an internal temperature of 165, pull it out and let it sit for a few minutes, and it will cook through to around 170.

























Cut off the string, and slice it up.

4 comments:

chris said...

i like that you are now warning about people being "squeamish" since a few posts ago you were cutting off a fish head and basically cleaning it from the start. at least you don't have to look this chicken in the eye.

mmmmmmmmm .... roulade

Gary Gnu said...

holy crap that looks amazing. do they have UPS out there?

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog and cutting techniques. VERY NICE!
I am a chef and your work is very organized and well planned out in detail. I like to add a white cream garlic sauce on top of my stuffed chicken roulade. ENJOY!

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog and cutting techniques. VERY NICE!
I am a chef and your work is very organized and well planned out in detail. I like to add a white cream garlic sauce on top of my stuffed chicken roulade. ENJOY!