How To Portion A Chicken
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A quick guide on how to portion up a whole chicken. All you need is a steady work surface and a sharp knife. It works exactly the same whether the chicken is cooked or raw.
Don't be put off by the amount of steps, the whole process took less than 5 minutes.
The chicken in the photos is a corn fed one, hence the yellow hue
It's important for safety to have a stable surface to work on. If your chopping board slips, you could end up in the hospital. One trick is to get a damp tea towel and put it under the chopping board, this will stop it moving around, and stops it bouncing if your chopping down on it
Choose the right knife. You don't want one too large for the job, it will just be awkward to handle. Likewise, you don't want a blunt knife, which means you need to apply more pressure, increasing the risk of slipping. A sharper knife is actually a safer knife
Start with the legs, this will get them out of the way when you come to get the breasts off. Find and slice through the join between the thigh and the bird until you come to the bone. If you go slowly, you should be able to follow the natural grain of the meat
Turn over the bird, and find the outer edge of the leg (the soft part on the back where the cut it, called the oyster)
Pop The Joiny
Follow the grain again, and cut down to meet your other cut until just the bone is holding the leg on. Grab the thigh and bend it backwards, until the joint pops out
Cut through the popped joint (it should be very easy) to separate the leg from the bird
Repeat the process with the second leg until you are left with what are essentially two marylands
Break Down Legs
Find the divide between the drumstick and thigh (you can see it if you move the two back and forth) and slice down to and around the bone
Pop The Joint
Bend the two pieces of the leg backwards until the joint pops out and slice between them to separate. Trim excess fat off the thigh
Repeat with the second leg, and the legs are done
Slice down the breast bone from the wishbone all the way down to the end of the breast
Follow The Rib Cage
Going slowly, follow the rib cage until the bulk of the breast is separate from the carcass
Turn over and cut behind the wing joint, exposing the bone and meeting the other cut
Pop The Joint
Bend the joint until it pops out
Slice through the joint and remove the breast from the carcass entirely
Break Down The Breast
Slice the breast in half to create 2 portions and remove the wing tip
If you want the wing separate, slice behind the bone, it should be very easy to remove.
Repeat with the second breast, and you're done. Use one piece of white meat (breast) and one piece of dark meat (leg) for each person. The steps are the same for a cooked bird, and makes it easy for 1 bird to serve 4 people
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