Sunday, April 13, 2014

Butchery, Importance of Knives and other stuff

Last saturday we had our butchery class and I can honestly say that it's equal parts knife technique and knife quality. The reason I say this is that for me and my class, this was the first time that most of us has handled whole fish and meat cuts and butcher them into usable cuts. 

For first timers to break down a chicken into classic 8 cuts and do a decent job at it says how straightforward butchering a chicken is. 

Eight pieces 
2 drumsticks
2 thighs
2 wings
2 breast halves

Ten pieces 
2 drumsticks
2 thighs
2 wings
4 breast quarters

Twelve pieces 
2 drumsticks
2 thighs
2 wingettes
2 drummettes
4 breast quarters

I always thought this to be daunting since I always buy chicken pre-cut but it was surprisingly easy. Of course, having a decently sharp knife helps a lot. If you have a dull knife then it's going to be really dangerous since chicken is really slippery. Not only dangerous but you're going to end up with ragged looking cuts as a dull knife will more likely tear the meat rather than slice. 

Another thing I learned about was the use of a flexible filet knife. To those who haven't used one before and have only seen it being used on TV. Let me tell you this, the flexible blade isn't a gimmick, it's a godsend! When fileting a fish and taking skin off, the flexible blade is a blessing. It makes getting the blade to the right angle a lot easier than using a stiff chef's knife. 


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