Anarcho-Butchering: Chicken

Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Posted in category Food & Nutrition

For all of the holiday cooking that takes place, one wonderful skill to learn this time of year is how to properly butcher a whole chicken. I spent time this year learning to better wield a knife in the kitchen in terms of meat preparation. There is so much to learn about this art, but for purposes of my learning, and this post, KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) is the appropriate formula.

I buy my chickens from Melo Farms, where soy-free, grass-pastured chickens are available from May – November of each year. In the case that Melo chicken is sold out, I have many local farmers as “backups” who also bring free-range chickens to market. After late November, I rely on my freezer to hold me over with a Melo chicken supply until springtime comes again. Last year, I found myself with a freezer stock of whole chickens, so I dedicated some time to properly preparing them. Of course, chicken rotisserie on the Weber grill is the tastiest way to prepare chicken, but for purposes of experimenting with varied recipes and unique chicken dishes, butchering skills come in handy. Thanks to my mother and the benefits of Christmases past, I have an ample supply of high-quality meat cleavers and boning knives, the two tools needed for the task.

For those who buy the industrial (store-bought) product, whole chickens are usually cheaper, and besides, you don’t have to buy multiple packages to get all of the chicken cuts. That said, I like this KISS video: “How to Cut a Whole Chicken Into Eight Pieces For Dummies.”


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2 Responses to Anarcho-Butchering: Chicken

  1. Wade says:

    December 25th, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    he makes it look so easy!…lol…I always cook the chickens that I buy from my little farmer ( whole on a beer can in my large big green egg…as for cutting them up afterwards, I more or less follow what the guy in the video does, although I cut the breasts off from the backbone so they don’t have any bone on them

  2. jeannie queenie says:

    December 27th, 2012 at 1:17 am

    This is the first I have read of chicken litter and what it is composed of. Obviously it is a money saver, but egads, this sounds horribly sickening.
    Not to mention it’s used for cows and possibly part of the mad cow scene.

    “Chicken litter, a rendered down mix of chicken manure, dead chickens, feathers and spilled feed, is marketed as a cheap feed product for cows. The beef industry likes it because it’s cheaper than even corn and soy, so an estimated 2 BILLION pounds are purchased each year; yes, this is a very serious amount of this product being fed to animals.

    As if the idea of your burger being the product of manure and feathers isn’t unsettling enough, about one-third of the chicken litter concoction is spilled feed, which includes cow meat and bone meal often used to feed chickens but which is supposed to be off limits for cows.

    However, any cow that eats chicken litter may also be consuming various beef products intended for chickens – the very same feed products that spurred the Mad Cow Disease outbreak in the first place! And it’s not only the spilled feed that’s the problem; the infectious agent can also be passed through the chicken manure as well.”

    This truly gives new meaning to the term, ‘chicken shit’, no? Ck it out here.

    As for cutting up chickens, it does save a whole lot of time. About 30 years ago when I was a food services director in the upper peninsula, a state guy came in to show me how to debone large turkeys. It was a hugh help for me being able to tackle about 20 turkeys in the 25 pound weight range.

    They cooked up beautifully in our convection ovens in under a couple hours, whereas when I cooked the bird at home (whole bone in turkey), I’d have to get up early to get that buzzard into the oven to cook for 8 hours or so. That is, if we didn’t do the big bird in the Weber and roast it for a few hours…definitely the best way to do any bird. I miss my Weber so much!

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