If you eat chicken, then you should know how to cut up a bird. When I first started cooking, I found this task daunting. I was scared to handle the chicken, let alone hack it up.
If you don’t already know about utilizing joints and fat lines, then this video is for you. You’ll need a decent knife and kitchen shears to copy the method.
If the chicken is cooked, the method is similar.
Let the bird rest for 5-10 minutes. Extra points if you have a chef’s fork.
These are the techniques I use now, but it’s not what I experienced growing up. If you’re a Chinese cook, have one in the house, or simply pay attention at a Chinese restaurant, you’ll notice that joints and fat lines don’t really matter. There’s almost a pure modern grid approach; Chinese cooks just take that chicken and cut it into even-sized pieces. Okay, I’m kind of exaggerating, but truthfully the Chinese method is a little of both: you cut through joints, but you also evenly chop through bone, ending up with more smaller-sized pieces. The real benefit comes from breaking the bones to release the flavor inside.
This technique starts by cutting through (or down both sides of) the breastbone and then removing the backbone, leaving 2 halves of a chicken. Chop to separate the breast from the leg, and chop again but this time through the knee (if chickens have knees…) to separate the thigh from the drumstick. Remove the wing from the breast at the shoulder joint. So far, it’s a lot like the above methods, but here’s where it continues: Chop the thigh, drumstick, and breast crosswise through the bone.
It’s pretty hard to find a video that shows how to do it, but this web page and this web page are helpful. For this method, you’ll need a sharp cleaver and a chopping block. Supposedly a super sharp pair of shears can be used in lieu of a cleaver.
If the chicken is cooked, the Chinese method is to make even more crosswise cuts. You know, like this.
You’ll need to add your own Chinese soundtrack.
One final note: save that backbone! Throw it in a pot with an onion and a little salt. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and then simmer for a couple hours. Ta da! Stock!
Now cook a chicken:
- Zuni Chicken posted by belinda
- basic roasted chicken posted by joanie
- roast chicken with cumin, honey & orange posted by joanie