Monday, February 6, 2012

Deboning a Chicken (Video)

Few topics are more popular in American food media than chicken; and few chicken preparations are more glorious than completely deboning and stuffing a whole chicken (particularly when Jacques Pepin does it).

What I want to show you in this video is a similar concept that is a lot easier to execute and it can even be done with store bought parts. I turn a chicken into 2 roasts -- boneless breast roast and bone-in leg roast. If you are doing it with store bought parts, here is what to buy:
  • whole bone-in, skin-on chicken legs
  • whole chicken breast (not split -- it should have all the breast meat from 1 chicken), bone-in, skin-on
The legs are easy -- you can buy them anywhere.  The bone-in whole breast is sold at Whole Foods (at least it is in the Metro Boston area).  It doesn't have the wings, but that's fine.  You can make the breast roast without the wings.  Ask the butcher at Whole Foods to take the center bone out for you, but keep the two breasts attached with the skin.  Then your job becomes really easy.  But it does help to be familiar with how to make these roasts from scratch so that you can instruct your butcher on what you want them to do.

YouTube link: Deboning a Chicken

Just to set your expectations.  Although my video is about 7 minutes long, it actually took me longer than that (the beauty of video editing).  It normally takes me around 10-15 minutes.  The first time I did it, it took around 30.  I find that videos often set unrealistic expectations, and people feel bad when it takes them 3 times as long to do something in real life.  Just remember that practice makes perfect!

Another suggestion is to let the chicken sit in the fridge after salting for 24 hours before you tie it up.  This way you can dry it and make it way less slippery before you try to tie it.  Salting in advance has another benefit of making it more succulent and evenly seasoned.

What do you do with these roast after trussing?  You roast them (I use a variation on the Zuni roast chicken).

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Anna said...

I have been waiting patiently for you make this video. I am so excited to watch it!!! I should have videotaped my last "de-boning" efforts a.k.a "Whole Foods Kosher Valley Chicken Massacre". You would have enjoyed watching THAT.

Jeanne said...

Jacques Pepin is one of my heroes! Rock On Helen Rennie!