Handling and preparation of a raw chicken is an interesting kitchen skill that requires one to have some attention and care. You should learn how to carve a chicken if you are passionate about cooking and eating good homemade food. The good thing is that carving a chicken does not really require any special skills or even a lot of energy. If you are on a budget, it will help you a lot to learn how to carve a whole chicken .This is because a whole raw chicken usually costs way less than buying chicken meat that has already been cut out and portioned. It is always interesting to learn a new kitchen skill. If you love stews and braises, then you will need meat pieces for that and you definitely ought to know how to curve a chicken. The whole process is simply about how to cut up and prepare the different parts of the whole row chicken. Below is a step by step guide on the best way to carve a chicken putting safety and hygiene first. Before we start you need to be having a chicken carving knife. Enjoy!
Table of Content
1. Pulling the legs away
The best way to start with carving the raw chicken is first to prepare it. You can start by rinsing the chicken under cool running water to clean it. You should ensure that you rinse both the outside as well as the inside of the whole raw chicken. After you have removed the giblets you can actually start to cut the chicken into pieces. Place your raw chicken on top of a cutting board breast side up. Then you need to pull the leg away to identify where it attaches. After that you need to remove the whole leg. Use your chicken carving knife to cut through the skin that is between the breast and the drumstick. Do that for the other drumstick. After that you need to bend the whole chicken on its side. Any side is fine. Then you need to bend each leg towards the back side until you eventually get the thigh bones to pop from the sockets. After that you can use your chicken carving knife to cut through the remaining skin and the joint to completely remove the first leg. Then do the same on the opposite side to remove the other leg.
2. Dividing each leg into two parts
Place each leg on the cutting board skin-side down. Try and locate the joint between the thigh and the drumstick. You can do that by flexing the leg a little bit. There is normally a thin line of fat through the drumstick. You can cut through the thin line of fat as you wiggle the joint to determine where it actually is to separate the drumstick and the thigh. Repeat this for the other leg.
3. Pulling the wings away
You can place the chicken on its side. Then you pull the wing and wiggle it to determine where the ball joint is. Then use your chicken carving knife to cut through the joint to separate the wing from the chicken breast. You can repeat this to remove the other wing as well.
4. Separate chicken breast fillet
To remain with the chicken breast you now need to remove the backbone of the chicken. For you to remove the backbone, place the chicken skin down and using your sharp chicken carving knife, cut through the ribcage starting from the head side towards the back. Repeat the same for the other side to completely remove the backbone. After that now you only need to cut the breast in to two halves. To protect your hand, you can simply place a kitchen towel on the upper side of the knife and then pressure it downwards to cut through the whitish cartilage and the breast bone at the center of the breast. You now have your two breast halves. Now you need to remove the breast meat from the breastbone. You the two breast meat halves crosswise to a few more pieces as you desire.
Uses of the Back and Breast bones
Now that you have your different chicken meat pieces, do not make the mistake of throwing away your chicken back and breast bones like most people do. You can simply stock the bones. Do not waste them! Chicken stock is the most delicious foundation for sauces and soups. You can freeze or pressure can the breast and back bones for you to use in the future. If you do not have enough time currently to make a chicken stock all you need to do is just stockpile the bones in to a freezer container and ensure that you keep it frozen for you to make the chicken soup or sauces in the future. However if you have the time, all you need to make your favorite chicken soup or sauce is just a few seasonings, some aromatic veggies and the chicken breast and back bones. We all have our favorite types of seasonings and veggies that we can use but trust me that a touch of peppers, onions, cloves and carrots will ensure that you make a delicious chicken soup from your breast and back bones.
How to Cook the Different Parts of the Chicken
The different chicken parts play distinct parts in different recipes based on their features. In this section you will learn on the best way to prepare the different chicken parts.
Chicken breast meat
This is usually a right choice for many dishes. Many people love preparing chicken breast meat as it’s usually easy to prepare and is low in fat and is a versatile protein choice. Chicken breast meat dries out very quickly. The best way to cook them is high heat for a short time when grilling, broiling on even panfrying.
Chicken thighs are usually the heroes in many meals. They are suited for slower longer cooking. You can best prepare your chicken thighs by roasting, broiling, braising, grilling and frying for that satisfying meal. Thighs have a higher fat content and cooking them for long ensures that the fat just breaks down in to an amazing savory goodness that you will definitely enjoy eating.
When it comes into chicken wings, it’s all about the dressings. Wings are the only chicken meat that completes transforms into different flavor profiles with just a simple change in the custome. The best way to cook chicken wings is definitely by grilling and frying. However you can also cook them broiling and braising.
This may sound unlikely but the best way to prepare the drumstick is roasting. If you have had some roasted drumstick, then am sure you agree with me. But before you roast your chicken drumstick, you should first marinade it with your favorite marinade ingredients. After that you can then put the drumstick on the roasting tray and roast for about twenty five minutes. However if you are not in top roasting, you can broiling or just braise your chicken drumstick for that great unmistakable taste and flavor of the chicken drumstick.
We can all agree that there is definitely nothing more satisfying feeling than carving your whole raw chicken by yourself and then simply get to prepare the different chicken parts differently all by yourself. The most important thing about carving a chicken is simply getting it right from the start. It is a step wise process that counts on getting each presiding step right for you to end up with the perfectly cut chicken pieces for you to cooking. Practice is crucial in mastering this skill and that is why you need to rush and get the next chicken for you to carve. Ensure that your chicken carving knife is sharp enough and good luck in carving the next whole raw chicken!