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So, nonsqueamish carnivores, how DO I cut up a (raw) chicken?

(25 Posts)
motherinferior Wed 23-Mar-05 15:55:22

Pupuce's post on the 'my style' conversation has spurred me on to reconsider something I've been mulling over for a while, namely buying a whole chicken and cutting it up, rather than buying expensive bits of it (and also there's something a bit, you know, Saint Agatha-ish about perpetually purchasing severed breasts, I do admit, and I do wonder what happens to the rest of the chicken as well).

But, er, where do I start? Given that I can't just request breathily that my 'butcher' divide it up, Nigella-style - I'll be getting the chicken from our organic delivery firm; and I'm still not overly familiar with cutting up meat; and I don't have a boning knife (whatever that is) or anything like that...do I just hack it apart? Are there tips? Can you tell me?

Marina Wed 23-Mar-05 15:59:28

Warning Link contains photos of dismembered poultry
Voila ma chere Methode Delia

elliott Wed 23-Mar-05 16:02:31

I've recently done this using the Delia method (but without the aid of the helpful photos, thanks Marina) and it was only the second whole chicken I've ever bought, so i was quite pleased with myself! - Be warned it does require brute force and is unlikely to look quite as pristine as in the photos (any instruction that starts 'simply....' should be treated with caution imo!)

motherinferior Wed 23-Mar-05 16:03:07

Good grief.

But worth doing, I suspect, for many reasons.

Many thanks!

elliott Wed 23-Mar-05 16:04:10

Definitely worth doing. You don't need a special knife either - just a robust and sharp one!

bundle Wed 23-Mar-05 16:04:56

MI, won't the butcher do it? ours does it marvellously..

Marina Wed 23-Mar-05 16:07:48

Perhaps MI is hoping one of those hunky Aussie delivery boys will rip it apart with his bare hands

bundle Wed 23-Mar-05 16:09:34



i find kitchen scissors quite helpful too

motherinferior Wed 23-Mar-05 16:11:38

You scoff - I got free ginger off the Ozboy today. He did explain I was his last customer.

Our best chicken option seems a delivery one, so Sweeney Todd not an option

WellieMum Wed 23-Mar-05 20:22:56

Ha! Delia is a wimp!

Now, if she lived in Singapore (as I did) she would have discovered that whole REALLY means whole, ie when you buy a whole chicken in the supermarket it comes with its head and feet still on.

I'm not squeamish at all, honest, but I never did get used to this.

motherinferior Thu 24-Mar-05 10:58:41

Although now in fact I've worked out that eight chicken thighs from the same organic producer work out cheaper than cutting the whole chicken into eight [insert perplexed emoticon]

hoxtonchick Thu 24-Mar-05 10:59:37

thighs are very cheap MI. a bit yuck when they have bones in though. i used some to make enid's nuggets very succesfully the other day.

Sonnet Thu 24-Mar-05 11:04:41

Thanks for this thread - I was wondering the same thing after readiong Pupuces post too...

motherinferior Thu 24-Mar-05 11:09:49

Nigel Slater raves about thighs.

Marina Thu 24-Mar-05 11:15:35

We use thighs for stir-fries, casseroles etc because although the meat is denser and slightly more "slippy" in texture when cooked, it has such a good flavour.
Dh always snaps up organic wings when he sees them for barbecuing and soups.

WideWebWitch Thu 24-Mar-05 11:16:25

Ooh, yes, I think that was a great tip from Pupuce.

motherinferior Thu 24-Mar-05 11:17:25

I shall get the Ozboy to deliver firmly flavoursome thighs

crunchie Thu 24-Mar-05 11:55:33

Who do you use for delivery

Sponge Thu 24-Mar-05 12:15:51

Thighs and legs much tastire and cheaper than breasts but bear in mind much more wastage. Chickens don't have very chunky thighs!

Marina Thu 24-Mar-05 14:42:44

crunchie I think MI uses Abel & Cole (correct me do MI)

nailpolish Thu 24-Mar-05 15:07:13

you are brave MI - i have a fear of whole chickens (or any animal dead)

would love to cook a whole chicken like my mum used to, but im terrified

i buy fillets, spear them with a fork and dangle them in the air whilst hacking away with the scissors, if the recipe needs the breast to be cut up

i just cannot bear to touch a raw chicken, <<shudder>>

Enid Thu 24-Mar-05 15:08:24

teach your dh/dp to do it, they love it, makes them feel all manly I suspect

Enid Thu 24-Mar-05 15:08:57

nailpolish I am like that about potatoes - I can't look at them boiling in a pan of water <<shudder>>

bundle Thu 24-Mar-05 19:49:26

& if you can bear it try plopping them into buttermilk overnight a la nigella, yum yum

WideWebWitch Sat 26-Mar-05 08:14:45

MI, inspired by this thread we bought a whole chick with the intention of cutting it up ourselves. I'll let you know how it goes, I'll be using those Delia instructions.

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