Sunday, November 7, 2010

Chicken hacking

Tomorrow, we go hands on and dirty with poultry. Chicken is the biggest selling protein, across the board, all types of restaurants. Apparently this means burger joints, too. Why? It's cheap, easy to prepare and tastes good.

No serious chef could ever show his or her face in public without knowing how to completely prepare a chicken. In about five to seven minutes, the bird will go from a plucked, cleaned carcass to perfectly sliced breasts, tenders, thighs, drumsticks wings and oysters.

Yes, chickens not only have tenders (they're attached to the breast meat) but they have oysters, too. Not that you'd want to eat these particular oysters raw, unless you have a fondness for suffering from salmonella. They're the two little round things on the chicken's back, the best-tasting part of the entire bird. If I were Emperor, this is what I'd eat, and give the rest to the starving masses (of course, if I were Emperor, I wouldn't need to learn to cook, but that's another story).

There is very little waste at the end of the process. Some fatty bits, the tail and the tips of the wings. That's it. The carcass is used for stock, the breasts for fancy stuff, the tenders for child food along with the drumsticks, the thighs for all kinds of Asian food, kebabs, the wings for bar food. The most in demand part is the breasts; the most versatile the thigh meat.

By the way, chickens only officially have one breast. So, when you think you're chewing on a chicken breast, you're only half right.

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