Lesson 10: Poultry Fabrication

Friday, November 20, 2009

Today started out the same as usual, prepping our mirepoix.. We're really improving our chopping skills!   Then it was time to cut apart a chicken.  I wasn't too nervous to do this for a number of reasons:  1. It's dead  2.  There are no funky colored guts pouring out of it  3.  It doesn't smell really bad     .. Also I'm used to working with chicken meat, so not a big deal.  However, I've never cut a chicken into pieces before it has been cooked, so it was interesting to learn the correct way to cut it so that you get the perfect pieces out of it.  Above is a picture of my first chicken (we each cut 2).  We also learned how to truss a chicken, which I paid extra attention to so I can truss the Thanksgiving turkey next week!!  On our second chicken, we learned how to make a "supreme" cut, which is a semi-boneless skinless breast with part of the wing joint still connected.  I always wanted to learn how to get that cut out of a chicken, since I've had it many times in gourmet restaurants.  When we finished cutting up our chicken, we seasoned it with salt, white pepper, and fresh nutmeg and placed it on a baking sheet with some chopped onions.  White wine was added before we placed it in a 375 degree oven to roast.

While the chicken roasted, we got our potatoes cooking (same recipe that we've been making) and we started fabricating our ducks.  When I first put my duck on the cutting board, Chef told us to take out the neck bone, the giblets, and the heart.  I was confused as to how to get it out, then I lifted it upside down and was extremely surprised to see it all fall out on my cutting board!  GROSS... but less work for me.. I thought I would have to dig it out of the duck!  After working with the 2 chickens, it seemed very easy cutting up the duck.  The meat was more tender so it was easier to cut through.  We didn't have a chance to cook the duck today so we were able to bring home the pieces we got out of it.   I'll have to find a good recipe this weekend so I can cook the duck for my family!

At around 4:00 the chicken was done, the potatoes were being plated, and the bread was fresh out of the oven.  The kitchen smelled fabulous!  We finished cleaning up our stations and dug into the delicious food we prepared!  There is so much satisfaction eating a meal in which every step of the process you were a part of, from dicing the potatoes and onions to fabricating and seasoning the chicken.  What a sense of accomplishment!


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