Dave Meli from the Healthy Butcher walks us through the process of de-boning a whole chicken, without losing the structure
of the bird.
Tags:deboning a chicken,how to de-bone a chicken,Le Gourmet TV,legourmet.tv
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Hi, my name is Dave Meli. I’m from The Healthy Butcher here in Toronto. Deboning poultry. All portly has basically the same skeletal structure. The large the bird, the easier it is to remove this back plate as a whole. So to debone a turkey would be easier than to debone a chicken. I normally recommend, if you’re going to attempt this at home, not to use too big of a knife. This requires very delicate stroke, knife stroke action. And you would like to have a knife where you are completely aware of where the tip of your knife is going to be at all times. So the first cut I will make is along the back. This is the only cut that I’m going to make that’s going to go through the skin. So I’m going to run my knife along the back of the skin just to open up the skin. I’m then going to keep the face of my knife, which is the side part of my knife, as close to the bones as possible, and I’m going to choose the side to start off with. And I’m going to start running along this back cavity. Now this piece of meat, you’ll find a large piece of meat right behind the thigh of the chicken. This is often known as oyster meat. It is an indication that you’re coming very close to a ball and socket joint from the hip bone and the chicken’s femur bone. This is important to be aware of because you’re going to have to maneuver the tip of your knife around that joint. If you are able to get your fingers in, you could start to separate so you can begin to see that femur joint, and then maneuver your knife around there to cut a tendon that connects the femur to the hip bone. So now I have opened up the, I’ve disconnected the femur bone from the socket joint that’s on the hip bone of the chicken. This is, that’s probably the biggest obstacle you’ll find when deboning a chicken. Obviously you become a little bit more comfortable with this with time, and this is something that I would easily recommend to practice once or twice. Now if you are not comfortable doing this, however you do want the advantages of having a deboned chicken, that’s the advantage of having yourself a great butcher. I’m going to take this side as far as the edge of this breast plate. And then I’m going to stop and then I will begin working on my other side. Always reposition your chicken so that you’re cutting in such a way that is the safest and most comfortable for you. Now the only thing that is holding, the only piece of bone now aside from the leg bones and the wing bones that is connected to my chicken is the very top of that breast plate. You could see the top of that breast plate? I’m just going to make a very slight cut enough that it actually leaves a very small amount of cartilage on the chicken itself. And then once that cut is made, it’s very easy to just pull away that back plate. It is completely up to you if you wish to remove the femur bones. Most people, when they have a deboned chicken like to leave in the drumstick bones. But they like to have the femur bones removed. These are very easily removed. I’m just making a straight cut along the side of the femur bones, going right down to the bone to expose the bone. I’ll then take my knife on either side of the bone to fully expose that bone. I’ll get my knife underneath that bone. Bring my knife all the way up and all the way down to where the joint is. Then once I’m at the joint, I’m just going to bend the bone back so it disconnects this bone from the joint, and remove the bone. I’ll do the same thing on the other side. The last thing I would do whenever I debone chicken is I take my hand, and I run my hand along my chicken, because my eye cannot see little shards of bone that could be left on here. So I’d always take my hand and feel the meat to make sure that there are no more shard of bones so that when somebody were to bite into something after it’s cooked, they’re not going to get a small shard of bone in their mouth. Ok, so I’d passed that test. So at this stage here, this is a deboned chicken. This is ready for a stuffing. If I were to put a stuffing in here, and put the bird back together again, as you could tell, this now looks like, this still looks like a chicken ready for the oven.