[Sca-cooks] Cutting Up Chickens: Was English Food

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Thu Jul 3 12:51:38 PDT 2008

It's not confined to the diners at table either. You may encounter it in 
the kitchens.
Working with whole chickens and serving just pieces to the table can 
lead to all
sorts of amusing problems.
One of the things to remember of course is that not every kitchen helper
knows how to cut up a chicken. Hand 40 whole birds to any number of people
and you may or may not get edible pieces in reasonable size cuts. Many 
people imagine that they can cut
up a whole bird, but when faced with the actual task, they don't know 
where to begin.
There are even cooks that can't handle it. Years back I gave someone a 
chicken soup recipe
that called for whole chickens to be cooked and then the meat removed 
from the bone and placed back in the broth.
This was for an event and the woman who was cooking had an excellent 
The cook rejected the recipe because she said it was too expensive. But 
whole chickens, I pointed out
were only so many cents per pound. How could that be too expensive?
It turns out that she was pricing the dish based upon boneless chicken 
breasts at dollars per pound.
"I've never cut up a chicken in my life," she told me, "and I am not 
about to start!"


Elise Fleming wrote:
> Serena wrote:
>>  I have been thinking about doing spatchcocked chickens divided along
>> the center line so that it is prepared and served as half chickens.
> Ohhh... If I may, I would very politely like to suggest that chickens be
> cut into serving portions before sending them to the table!  snipped  How have you feast cooks avoided this problem?
> Alys Katharine

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