Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Butchering the chicken

Biting the bullet: whole chickens are ridiculously cheap this week (59¢ a pound, which makes a 4lb-ish chicken about $2.50), so I bought a couple.

I’ve never had much luck cutting up chickens before — usually resorting to brute force and ending up with a mangled mess of flesh — but Cooking For Engineers makes it look reasonably easy. How hard can it be?

Well, still quite hard. Legs and wings went well, giving me a false sense of confidence: removing and jointing these is not about forcefully cleaving your way through, it’s about careful cutting and feeling your way for the weak point of the joint.

Breasts: not so good. The key point I missed here: remember which way is up, otherwise you end up proudly and pointlessly cutting down either side of the keel bone rather than the backbone. Oops.

Still, this one’s for poaching, and ultimately destined for chicken salad (a toss-it-together effort, probably chicken, grapes, celery, walnuts — a bit Waldorfy so far, hmm — maybe some apple or mango, and a sour cream or mayo-based dressing) and enchiladas. The next one should be perfect.

Categories: Food