Buying a processed chicken can be an unnecessary expense. There are people out there who may be in need of some serious anger management. Save money and de-stress at the same time by learning how to butcher your own chicken!
The first steps
First, buy yourself a chicken. If for some reason, you can't find one in the store, your local butcher or meat-cutter might have one. Also, make sure you have a sturdy, at least semi-professional chef's knife, meat cleaver, or axe if you can get one. Chicken-processing cannot be done using an every-day knife. - Pluck the feathers off of the chicken (carefully, do not pluck too hard or else they might break), if necessary. - Cut off the feet first and get rid of them, or use them for soup. If for some reason it still has a head, which it really shouldn't, chop it off. - Clean the chicken like you would any other poultry: if you caught the chicken yourself, this means removing the entrails and other innards. Save them if you want: they actually make good eating if pureed into gravy or made into a spread-like pâté. - If you plucked the feathers yourself, torch the carcass. Run a small flame just briefly around the skin to burn off any residue still leftover from the feathers.
Now, it's time to break the chicken into its appropriate parts: breast, thighs, wings, etc.
Wash the chicken first with warm, soapy water.
What are you using the chicken for?
If you want to make a stew, leave it whole (but not for too long: no one likes aging meat). If you want to continue your butchery session, you can use the chicken for other kinds of dishes, first learn what the (edible) parts of the chicken are:
- Drumsticks and sides
- Skin (some dishes actually ask you to wrap food fillings in chicken skin) Each one of these can be removed (you can strip the chicken down to the bone), but that isn't widely practised. Most people just cut the chicken into pieces at the joints, leaving the breast intact until they slice it up for sandwiches or an entree. Author's note Have fun making that home-made dinner which everyone wants for a change.