Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Deboning a Raw Chicken

If you don't care for pictures of butchery and carnage, then I'd advise you to click away now! Adam tried his hand at deboning a raw chicken today. He's deboned cooked chickens many times, but a raw chicken is a, um, slightly different bird.
Adam began with two very sharp knives: one small and one large. He dealt with the wings first, removing the tips, and then the drummettes. (Cutting through the joints takes some muscle and aggression.)
He said it was slightly harder to find the right spot in the joint to cut.
Now he's removing the wishbone. Occasionally it comes out in one piece, but not this time. He made a slit on either side of the neck opening, to dig in and remove the wishbone on either side.
Then he made a deep slit down the back.
Now Adam will remove the back. This seemed the hardest part to me. Basically, the idea is not to cut the meat off the bone, but to strip the bones out of the meat. Does that make sense? Anyway, he seemed to pull and wiggle the meat down, off the backbone; that's what's happening in the next two pictures.

Now you can really see how the chicken is butterflied -- opened up -- with the backbone over there to the right. I think it still has the breast tenders on it, but that's all.
In this picture, Adam is removing the leg bone from out of the leg. But he wants to leave the small end of the leg bone in there, to prevent the skin from drawing up as it bakes. So he takes the blunt side of the knife (see below) and gives it a good whack to break the tip end of that bone. Then he pulls and coerces the rest of the bone out.
Thoroughly deboned:
Now he'll work on those breast tenders. They have those really annoying white tendons running down them, y'know? He grabbed the end of the tendon, pulled it firmly, and scraped the tender back, off of the tendon.

Then he took the tenders, along with other smaller pieces (like the wing drummettes, which he also deboned), and filled out the inside of the chicken.
He salted it well, and neatly rolled it up. Then he tied it with twine.
Don't ask me what kind of fancy knot-work this is, but it worked like a charm. I think I've seen Jacques or Julia do this, so I'm sure you could find the whole thing on Youtube.
The string was long, and he ran it back down the other side, looping it around to make the bird very secure. and knotting it back where he started. Here she is:
It didn't occur to me to photograph the finished product, but I'll say:  it was yummy!


  1. That was a big chicken! Your warning at the beginning is funny. It IS kind of slimy looking. I'm glad it tasted good.

  2. he's a better man than I am! It looked very pretty when he was done, like a chicken makeover.


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