Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Breaking Down A Bird - "101" by Mike Pardus

As promised, a video demo in three parts on how to take apart a whole chicken, cut it into "retail" pieces, start a stock, etc.

First question - Local or factory bird?....factory. No excuses - it was for demo purposes and $15 for a local bird seemed a bit steep when I was the only one home tonight.

Next - it took me twenty minutes to break it down slowly and talk my way through it. If I was in a hurry, it would have taken less than 3 minutes- I've done thousands....with a few practice birds under your belt, you can easily do it in under 10.

Last - I taped the Flip Mino to my chest, that's how I did it....and boy did I look silly in the mirror. First, I tried taping it to my HEAD - right between my eyes...didn't work so well and the POV was a bit off. And it was all in one take, and yes, that's my dog's nose you see about half way through - wondering who I'm talking to and hoping I drop chickeny goodness on the floor.

OK - Butchering a Chicken -101. - Roll 'em.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


John Jezl said...

Very nice "back to basics". I cut up chicken all the time (3 or so a week, actually) to feed my dog and have breasted out quite a few ducks, but never break it down to this detail. It has, however, given me a good feel for all the joint delineations and whatnot that you pointed out. I will definitely start utilizing my poultry more efficiently now... at least the ones destined for human consumption. Thank you for the demos. I hope you continue to do them. They are much appreciated.

Question: There seems to be some argument as to whether or not you should rinse your poultry before preparing it. It seems to make sense to me, but others argue that it spread salmonella (around the sink area?). Any thoughts?

mike said...

rabbit next?

MessyONE said...

Oh yes, please Mr. Pardus!

We're going to be contracting with a local farmer for rabbits and lamb next year and while birds hold no mystery for me, I've never had to break down a rabbit. That's a job I left to my mother when she was raising them.

Then again, I've never had to break down a whole lamb before, either. Maybe I'll just do a little research and find a butcher to do that for us.

Mike Pardus said...

MessyOne - Rabit I can - and will -do. Mayeb in a week or so. If it's something I'm not really adept at, I can find someone who is to do it with me...BDG and I have a close associate who's an artisinal butcher - lamb would be no problem.

Walt said...

Wow, thanks for the great post. It may be greedy to suggest but I do alot of charcuterie and it would make for an even greater experience if I were to break down the animal myself. I'd love to learn how to properly butcher the noble pig sometime in the future.

Drew said...

Thanks for the demo! These are much appreciated.

I have not been exposed to this level of detail, despite it's everyday practicality.

Mike Pardus said...

Walt - stay tuned....upcoming in the next month or two, BDG and I have some things in mind that might interest you.

MessyONE said...

One thing I should mention....

There's a restaurant in our neighborhood called Anteprima that does a splendiferous appetizer of braised chicken gizzards with a little polenta. Yum!

Kosta said...

These are great! Keep 'em coming.

I'd love to see a demonstration on making different types of stock.

Abulafia said...

Very cool. Thanks for the practical tutorial.

Jon in Albany said...

I'm not sure if this post is still being monitored, but I've got a follow-up question and I figured I'd throw it out into cyberspace.

Now that I have a lot of chicken bones on my hands thanks to this video, I've started making stock.

When you are making chicken stock, is there a reason to leave the pot uncovered? If you are going to end up with a gallon of stock, why not start out with a little over a gallon of water and cover the pot?

I'm guessing there is a reason. The stock pot has a reduced diameter and increased height to minimize evaporation. Is something gained from the lack of a lid? I understand that the collagen will make a reduced stock gel, but if you weren't going to take the stock that far, why not cover the pot?

Bob del Grosso said...

I don't know that there is a universal reason why stock pots should not be covered. But the reason I don't cover a stock pot is twofold:

1 Covering the pot drives up the pressure on the stock and encourages it to boil hard and become cloudy

2 A covered part is harder to monitor for skimming the crud that comes up to the surface

It should be obvious that you can use a cover if you don't care if the stock gets cloudy.

Jon in Albany said...

I'd say preventing/monitoring for a boil is a good reason.

I don't have a pot large enough to fit the amount of stock I made this week, so I used a big roasting pan and started with it on two burners. I kept the chicken bones and water at a simmer on the stove for about an hour, skimming it regularly. After an hour I moved it into a low oven. I thought I'd lose too much water leaving it in there for a few hours, so I put the lid on. I checked the water temperature a few times and it was holding steady around 190. Then the carrots, celery and onion went in for about another 90 minutes. Strained it through colander and then again through cheesecloth and chilled. It came out pretty well. I think a few more hours of just bones and water in the oven would have made it better, but it was getting late.

A work in progress. I'll try again in 4 more chickens. Thanks.