achievement unlocked: breakdown queen

I enjoy brining and roasting whole birds, but there are times when I want to keep the backbone and wings for stock and I don’t want to roast those parts before boiling them. There are two ways to get to where I want to go:

1) Spatchcock the chicken and separate the wings.

2) Break the chicken down completely. The best video I have seen (both in terms of production value and home replicability) on how to break down a chicken is provided courtesy the New York Times.

Once you know how to do No. 2, No. 1 simply entails skipping a couple of steps. Specifically, you’ll want to turn the chicken breast-side-down, slit the skin between the thigh and the backbone to expose the fat line underneath, then use kitchen shears to cut along the fat line, and through the ribs to the neck of the chicken. Then repeat on the other side. Finally, if you want the wings for stock (like I do), take the wings off just as the video shows. Granted, it will not a be a prettier chicken with the wings off, but if you never eat the wings, save them for your stock.

The Blue Lemon is still in the shop, no word from the insurer whether it will be totaled, yet. So, ridiculously-unseasonal desserts will have to wait. If I feel cocky (hurr) tonight, I’ll make a fresh batch of chicken stock (since I have a second set of backbone/wings in the freezer from my last breakdown). If not, chicken soup will still be on the menu – a hearty kale and barley brew to go with biscuits (if I’m super-lazy) or Parker House rolls (if I can drag myself away from my iPad long enough to get a dough started and resting in the fridge overnight). That soup recipe will be posted tomorrow.

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