Cookbook club - May challenge - learn to joint a chicken!

(30 Posts)
tigerlilygrr Wed 01-May-13 17:22:10

This is a follow on thread from the cookbook club threads for April and May. As you may know by my obsessive food fuelled postings we choose two cookery books a month, and then cook a minimum of two recipes from each, so four recipes a month. As a spin off some of us are interested in also trying some specific techniques, for example making macaroons or gnocchi or pasta. The idea is that we will:
1. pick one technique a month (I think... but tbd)
2. try and either learn something new or help others improve (eg by pointing out websites with good tutorials or your own experience or whatever)
3. chat about it.

Everybody's welcome and we will try and pick techniques that don't require lots of kit, or at least mix it up a bit. You definitely don't need to be on the other thread to do this one.

As a starter I would really like to know how to joint a chicken. So that can be our first technique but very happy to take suggestions for later ones. I realise this is not very veggie friendly so perhaps we can do some veggie ones next!

piebald Wed 08-May-13 20:34:29

A chicken is really easy to joint -honestly once you have done it a couple of times you wont go back to buying separate portions. I often buy 3 at a time and do them and make a big pan of stock. One tip is when you lay the leg out to separate drumstck and thigh there is a line of white fat and if you cut along that you will get the middle of the joint. You can separate the wings into smaller pieces too to cook like Buffalo wings

tigerlilygrr Wed 08-May-13 18:28:36

Just checked and ocado stock them - not sure if they're in season though as they also stock raspberries year round! Happy to do artichokes or something else if the consensus is now is not the right time.

ELR Wed 08-May-13 18:22:05

Are thy in season yet? Not sure where I would get them to be honest.

tigerlilygrr Wed 08-May-13 18:13:57

That looks much better than the Delia method - which admittedly I definitely cocked up, but even if I'd done it correctly I think Gordon's way is better! I'll try that next time (hopefully this week).

Btw all I think we should do a new technique from next week... Any preferences? Shall we do artichokes?

anklebitersmum Wed 08-May-13 18:04:38

sooooo much cheaper than buying separately too..I only learnt cos I'm permanantly a tight arse on a budget

ELR Wed 08-May-13 17:37:24

ankle that looks a better way will do it next time!

anklebitersmum Wed 08-May-13 16:33:56

I've used the Gordon way for a long time. You do need a decent knife though grin

ELR Wed 08-May-13 14:34:07

Ok I have completed the challenge not sure it was perfect but it was good enough. Had a little trouble getting the keel bone out ended up snapping it in two! Anyway was not of bad I have used half the chicken in a recipe today and I have frozen the other half. I am so pleased I did it!!

tb Sat 04-May-13 18:41:32

Fiskars chicken shears are really good. When I first sort of half-jointed a chicken it was to do a recipe from the Julia Child Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The recipe was a half-boned chicken stuffed with smooth chicken liver paté. The instructions were so good, that it didn't matter that there weren't any illustrations.

The basics are that sometimes in order to cut through the joints, you need to dislocate them first. So, for the drumsticks, you just bend the joint back on itself until it comes apart. You can then cut through this bit. It's the same for the top of the thigh, and for the wings.

At first, I had to resort to the scissors from my 'A' level biology dissection kit, but, over the years I've acquired shears, loads of knives, and a great deal of practise.

DH gets quite scared when I'm lopping the ends of wings off using a meat cleaver grin

XBenedict Sat 04-May-13 12:11:21

Kitchen shears - now they sound useful!

ELR Sat 04-May-13 11:45:33

A friend of mine has just posted a pic on Facebook of macaroons she made they look fantastic, so she is going to email me the recipe and her tips. Will post here once I've got it.

tigerlilygrr Sat 04-May-13 09:52:16

Bought two more chickens and am ready to do battle next week. I will crack this!

And to a suggestion up thread, yes. , I think changing the technique every two weeks is a good idea. Will keep people interested who can't do the immediate technique as well.

ELR Fri 03-May-13 22:26:48

I will be using my kitchen shears and a small knife I googled and watched a few clips on you tube which seems like it will be easier than reading it from a book. I will report back Monday!

tigerlilygrr Fri 03-May-13 22:19:03

Hi again elr! I had a go at my chicken tonight. I followed delia's instructions as best I could but somehow went astray as ended up with six usable portions, one weird bit that was mostly bone and the wings (I was shooting for eight portions). Will try again next week as conveniently there's lots of stuff from both of the may cookery books that require jointed chickens. No waste though as stuck the oddities in the stock pot.

Btw... I got nervous again and ended up buying poultry shears. Really I am sure they are unnecessary but I do genuinely have weak wrists! I might force myself to have a go with a knife at least once though.

ELR Fri 03-May-13 21:35:26

Hi just found this! Happy to report I have ordered a chicken to come with my veg box on Monday as doing chicken sofrito from Jerusalem on Monday which will require me to spatch cock or butterfly or quarter so half way there. In answer to your question I think we should choose a new technique maybe every two weeks then we can update as and when we do it. In some ways I have menu planned my weekend so tats a start too.

tigerlilygrr Wed 01-May-13 22:20:58

Omg artichokes. I will also need to be told how to eat artichokes... Definitely a good idea. Will also put meal planning on the list. How often should we change topics do we think? Aprils cookbook thread made me realise that although you gain stragglers, a month is a long time on mumsnet.

Pantah630 Wed 01-May-13 20:43:53

I'm with soupqueen in wanting to know how to deal with artichokes too.

Pantah630 Wed 01-May-13 20:42:44

Signing in to say I jointed a chicken last month for the first time grin when I made the chicken with grapes an olives. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, I have some heavy duty scissors so cut it in half with these and then a dean knife to joint each side.

XBenedict Wed 01-May-13 19:00:53

I am a bit of a knife slut - I swap them around and I don't care for one in particular just need it to be sharp grin

ScienceRocks Wed 01-May-13 18:39:51

I can joint a chicken already, so won't join in this month (my tip is to remember that the joints are the weakest parts so it shouldn't be a battle grin). But I agree on the knife thing. I have one small knife that I use for everything. I occasionally use a bread knife. I obviously have other knives but I only use them if my favourite knife is stuck at the bottom of the sink under a pile of washing up and I have a knife emergency grin

kneedeepindaisies Wed 01-May-13 18:35:56

Didn't even think of having a proper knife hmm

XBenedict Wed 01-May-13 18:30:05

Oooh I'll have a go at this too. I'm off shopping tomorrow so I'll buy one especially. I know it's not a technique but how about adding menu planning to the list and trialling it for a week/fortnight to see if it makes a difference.

Soupqueen Wed 01-May-13 18:26:25

I'll be skipping this too, being veggie, but will probably look back and see how you're all getting on.

Cn I suggest artichokes as a future one, for whichever month they're best. I adore artichokes but have never prepared them myself.

tigerlilygrr Wed 01-May-13 18:10:09

Do you know, I only have one knife, it is my secret cooking shame. I mean, I have six or seven proper knives, but genuinely I could give them all away and not miss them. I always just use an ikea veg knife and scissors! Perhaps it's time for me to try with the others. Z

Marking place also. Although I don't know I have a knife sharp enough

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