Deboning a Chicken

My first attempt at deboning a chicken.  I've never done this before, so like most other things, I turned to Jacques Pepin for advice.  He says one should be able to do this in about a minute.  Yeah, maybe after you've deboned hundreds of chickens.  Still, this isn't a difficult animal to break down.  Maybe someday I'll get a whole side of a pig or cow.

I used this to make a roast chicken.   I tourned some carrots, quartered some red potatoes, sliced some onions and seasoned them all with salt/pepper, thyme, parsley, and bay leaves. Tossed with some vegetable oil.  I then salted/peppered both sides of the chicken and laid it, skin side up, over the vegetables.   Seasoned with thyme, and a little extra salt (I love crispy chicken skin)

I then used a kitchen torch to pre-crisp the skin a bit just enough so that the skin contracted.   Then I put the whole thing into a 475 F oven until the vegetables were about half done.  I then took the chicken off the veggies and let them finish at 450 while the meat rested.

To finish, I put the chicken on a baking sheet under a broiler for a few minutes, until the skin was crispy all over and nicely browned.

In between these steps, I browned the giblets, neck, and wing tips in butter and let the chicken fat render.  I then strained the chicken fat into a sauce pan and made a roux with all-purpose flour.   Meanwhile, I deglazed the pan and simmered the chicken giblets and wingtips with 2-3 cups of water and a sprig of thyme.  Then I thickened the "quick stock" with the roux, and continued to simmer.  After straining, I had a flavorful gravy to go with the roast chicken.

To plate, I made a pool of gravy and spooned veggies over that, then laid a half chicken on each plate.   You'll have to believe me when I say this, but I'm not prone to hyperbole.  That said, this was the best roast chicken I've ever had.

Step 1: Sharpen your knives.

Step 2: Cut out the wish bone by scraping and cutting the meat around it.  Once you got it cut, pull it out with your forefinger and thumb.

Step 3: Flip the bird to expose the back.  Slice a seam down the bird, careful not to cut into the meat.

Step 4: Find the articulation point for the shoulder.  Twist and push up to expose it.

Step 5: Cut through the joint.  Do the steps 4 and 5 for the other side.

Step 6: Grab the shoulder, lift, twist toward breast and pull down to strip the meat off the bird.  This takes some force.

Step 7: Stop about 2/3 the way down.  The bit of meat called "the oyster" should be exposed.  Cut around it so it remains attached to the skin.  

Step 8: Continue to pull the flesh off the carcass.

Step 9: Now find the articulation of the hip. Life, twist and the ball joint will pull out of the socket.

Step 10: Cut through the joint and pull the body off the carcass completely.

Step 11: Find the tenderloins on the carcass.  They're located where the breasts  used to be.

Step 12: Using your thumbs, push the tenderloin off the carcass.  You may have to cut some silverskin.

Step 13: Lay the bird flat.

Step 14: Make slices around the thigh where the hip was.

Step 15: With the side of your blade, scrape down the bone, don't slice.

Step 16: Once you reach the "knee", slice around the top of the leg drumstick and continue to scrape down the bone.

Step 17: Break the leg and pull out the bone.

Step 18: Repeat steps 14-17 for the wings


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