deboning chicken

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      Have you considered buying whole chickens and deboning them? It’s

      really easy to do to a raw chicken. You buy chickens at the whole

      chicken price, then end up with wing sections for buffalo wings,

      boneless chicken breasts, chicken tenders, and either bone-in or

      deboned thighs and drumsticks, or leg quarters. Plus, you have all

      those wonderful bones to cook up and make home made chicken stock to

      either freeze or can.

      Let’s get started on that chicken. First, you need a sharp

      knife. **CAUTION**, a sharp knife will cut, not only chicken, but

      fingers that get in the way. If you are not used to working with a

      sharp knife, be extra careful. It might even be worth it to invest

      in a glove for the non-knife hand that protects against

      cuts. Various ones are available.

      Have the whole chicken plucked and gutted, remove any giblets that

      might be included. Place the chicken neck up in front of you. Take

      the knife and run it along the top and the back of the wing

      joints If you are unsure of just where to run the knife, turn the

      chicken sideways and wiggle the wing where it joins the body. Once

      you have both wing joints cut, lay the knife down. Hold the chicken

      by the neck opening with one hand and pull the wings down a

      little. Once both wings are free of the joint, grasp both wings and

      pull them down, close to the chicken. You should now have a chicken

      breast butterfly with wings attached. Cut off the wings, and split

      the breasts apart if you wish. If you want to use the wings for

      grilling, turn the wing tip joint so it goes on the wrong side of the

      “drumette” end from normal position. This should give you a wing

      triangle that grills quite well. If you don’t want to use them this

      way, separate the wing sections at the joint, and set aside the end

      piece to go in the stock pot.

      Now on both sides of the cartilage ridge on the front of the ribs

      there is a piece of chicken meat. Run a finger down between the

      cartilage and the meat. This is the breast tenders, and they come

      off quite easily.

      Now to the dark meat. If you want whole legs, just take a thigh in

      each hand, and bring them together to the back of the chicken,

      popping the hip joint in the process. Trim off at the back

      bone. Bend the leg to find the joint if you want to cut the

      drumstick off the thigh, and cut through the middle of where the leg

      bends. If you want deboned dark meat, pop the hip joint, but do not

      cut off the back bone at this time. Run your knife from the far end

      of the drumstick to the top of the thigh along the bone. Once you

      get to the hip end of the bones, take a grip on the top of the bone

      and run the knife around the bone to

      free the meat, letting the weight of the carcass pull down on the

      meat. Toss the bone in the stock pot, then debone the other

      leg. Once you have the bones out of both legs, cut the meat off at

      the back and toss the back and rib bones into the stock pot. Feel

      free to cut up the bones in the stock pot so they fit in the pot

      easier. You can even freeze the bones if you need to until you have

      enough to make stock.

      Making the stock: Put the bones in enough water to cover them, add a

      bit of onion and garlic, bring to a boil, then simmer for at least an

      hour. Cool to remove the fat, then strain the liquid. This can be

      frozen or canned.

      Ann in Arkansas

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