One step I left out of my Project Food Blog round 2 entry was to break down the chicken into parts. Using a whole chicken and breaking it down is cheaper than buying a pack of breasts or a pack of thighs, and it’s surprisingly easy. You will need: a sharp boning or chef’s knife, and kitchen shears.
Step 1. Rinse the chicken under cool water
Step 2. Place the chicken breast side up on a cutting board. Pull the legs away from the body and cut through the skin. Put your hand under the chicken and feel where the leg connects to the body. Separate the bone from the joint with a quick twist and cut through the skin on the back.
Step 3. Repeat on the other leg
Step 4. Stand the chicken up on the neck end, and use your knife or shears to take out the backbone. To do this, cut through the ribs from back to front until the backbone comes cleanly off. (sorry, no picture!)
Step 5. Once you have the backbone out, lay the chicken with the breasts down, and remove the breastbone by cutting a “V” around the bone, and pulling up. Separate the two breasts with your knife or shears.
You can stop here, and have your chicken in 4 pieces, or further break down the legs by finding the joint between the drumstick and thigh. Bend the leg until you feel the bone release, and slice the skin to separate the parts.
Voila! With practice, you can break down a chicken in minutes for much cheaper than buying the parts already separated from the grocery store.
PS. I’m in the running for Foodbuzz’s Project Food Blog 2010 round 2. Please take a minute to read my post and vote for me here! Thanks for your time!!!