November 18, 2011
Chicken's the most ubiquitous protein of our operation, given that it's relatively cheap and people like to eat it. This means that we butcher chicken almost every day down in Meat Lab. Butchering chicken is surprisingly easy, and I'm glad to have learned it because it means I can now buy whole chickens and cut it up myself to save money (whole chicken is a lot less per pound than say, chicken breast).
The most common pieces we butcher chicken into are: whole legs (skin on) and chicken breast (skin off). But we've done all sorts of variations, not just with skin on/off but bone in/boneless and different styles such as airline breast (chicken breast with drumette attached) or butterflied breasts pounded thin (such as for paillard).
All of the drumettes/wings are saved and cryovac-ed (vacuum packed) for when there are parties and they need appetizers. All of the carcasses/bones/skin gets saved for stock, so there's very little waste.
I think I've cut up 20+ chickens by now, so if anyone would like a demo, feel free to ask!