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How to Cut Up a Whole Chicken | Melissa Clark Recipes | The New York Times



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hi I'm Alyssa Clark from the dining

section and I am gonna cut up a chicken

so you might be thinking why is she

bothering to cut up a chicken you can

buy a cut-up chicken in the supermarket

well because when you buy a cut-up

chicken first of all it's more expensive

than buying a whole chicken and secondly

you don't get the backbone and if you

don't have the backbone then you can't

make stock so by cutting up your own

chicken you save money and you get the

bonus pot of stock first thing to do is

to remove the legs you find this space

that connects the thigh to the breast

over here and you make a little slit

with your knife once you've made a slit

you can kind of see what's going on in

there and I'm going to pull this leg and

I'm gonna pop the bone out so once you

have exposed that bone you can see the

joint right there there's a space you

just want to cut right through that to

remove the leg and then same thing on

the other side then to separate the

drumstick from the thigh just flip the

chicken leg over and then look for the

fat line you can see if you see over

here there's this little line of fat

that shows you exactly where the joint

is so if you've cut right through that

you're gonna cut right through the joint

see take your wings off next take your

thumb and feel where the joint is you're

gonna feel the little Ridge and that is

where you want to cut and lift the wing

up and then let the chicken kind of fall

down and the weight of the chicken is

gonna help you hear their guests next

you want to cut the backbone off so I'm

gonna use kitchen shears for this you

could use a knife I just find the shears

easier again look for the fat line see

that fat line just cut right along that

it's like in a way the fat lines are

almost like a diagram on the chicken

they just show you where to cut cut

through the ribs

and then I'm gonna break this guy off

you can either break the backbone off or

you can cut around it or do some

combination of breaking and cutting

until it comes off so here is the

backbone and this is your prize this is

what you're going to use for stock I'm

just gonna throw it in a pot immediately

and now you're left with the breast so

what you want to do is separate this

into two halves so you just want to make

a little slit right in this bone right

here just so it'll help you break the

breast into two okay now flip over your

breast again and I'm just gonna bear

down on it and where you made that slit

the bone is just gonna crack now you can

feel it there we go now smooth out the

skin again and then just cut right down

the middle because you've broken that

bone it's gonna be easy to cut right

through and that's it

at this point I've cut my chicken into

eight different pieces this is how I

like to cook a cut-up chicken if you

want though you could cut these breasts

in half

I like the big piece of breast because

the white meat cooks faster than the

dark meat so if you keep the breast in

one big piece everything will cook

evenly so now you have your backbone and

it's all ready for you to make stock and

the great thing about making a very

small batch of stock is it cooks quickly

and it's easy to handle you don't have a

giant pot full of stock that you have to

strain you could add nothing more than a

couple of garlic cloves or an onion and

then cover it with water and the stock

would be great but if you have the

vegetables lying around you might as

well use them I've got carrot onion

stuck with a clove parsley a bay leaf

some garlic of course celery throw that

all in cover it with water let it simmer

for maybe an hour or two and then when I

strain it I'll probably have maybe one

to two ports of stock see cutting up

your own chicken is easy and you get so

much more out of the bird you get dinner

one night and then you get stop to have

on hand

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