In order to make Chicken Soup (come back on Friday) we needed to learn how to cut up a chicken. We went to the grocery store and bought a whole chicken. I told my Little Chefs what we were about to do and amazingly they did not have a problem with it, in fact they were excited. They are really enjoying all the new bits of information we are learning.
They each took a turn cutting off one part of the chicken as we read the instructions in the Martha Stewart’s Cooking School Cookbook. The directions were clear but it was still difficult to interpret because this was our first experience. I talked them through the anatomy of the bird. The thigh is like your leg and to cut it off we need to get to the top part which allows it to move called a joint. They looked at their leg and then understood better. We moved the leg and subsequently the wing to see how it moved and to feel the end of the bone and the joint. While this gave us a much better idea where to cut we still felt we were blindly cutting. We found it a little easier to cut through the skin and sometimes (depending on who is cutting) the meat so that we could find the joint a little easier. I’m sure this is a big no no when you want to get the perfect cut, but remember this is our first attempt.
I was very proud of my Little Chefs because they did not complain about anything icky or having to touch it. They didn’t even want to rush through it to go wash their hands. I was quite amazed! While we did not cut the chicken perfectly it was a great exercise and experience. I am glad we did it. I’m sure the more we cut up a chicken the faster the process will become. The jury is still out on whether they will want to do it again because at the grocery store right next to the whole chicken was a chicken already cut in the same manner we were about to do. Talking to the butcher who was quite friendly that day, he said they would even Spatchcock a Chicken if we desired. (Read on page 113 what that means if you do not already know.) Is there a benefit to cut up your own chicken if you can buy one or ask the butcher to do it for you? Aside from the knowledge I’d have to say no.
Next up, how to make chicken soup.