How to cut chicken into portions
Sooner or later, you may need the ability to cut chicken into portions, both raw (for freezing or cooking various dishes), and already thermally cooked. Which chicken is best to choose and how to defrost it properly? What should be used for this? A step-by-step guide to cutting raw and fried poultry in the review will help you find answers to all questions.
Rules for choosing and defrosting chicken
When buying chicken carcasses, experts recommend paying attention to the following:
- a good carcass has a rounded breast; the keel-bone does not bulge. In older birds, the sternum is no longer as springy as in a young chicken;
- all parts of the carcass must be proportional, but if the sternum is too large in comparison with the legs and thigh, then this may indicate the use of hormonal drugs during cultivation;
- the bird should be well gutted and cleared of feathers;
- defects on the outside must not be visible (no fractures, hematomas, blood clots);
- if you push the meat, there should not be a dent. Fresh meat well restores shape, otherwise it is better to refuse such a purchase;
- meat of young chickens has a light pinkish color, thinner and white skin, and fat deposits are pale yellow. The skin of an old chicken will already be thicker and greasy, with a yellow tint;
- fresh carcass will smell good and not give off a suspicious “aroma”. The unpleasant smell of sour, rotting or dampness is unacceptable;
- dry and clean skin indicates that the bird is fresh. In the presence of sticky, slippery skin, the conclusion is this: perhaps the chicken was sick, and she was treated with antibiotics. Such signs also indicate a poor-quality product;
- choose chilled meat. It better maintains taste and healthy qualities. But after freezing, the meat already loses its qualities and becomes somewhat harsh;
- sellers and producers to get more weight (and, accordingly, the amount from the sale) are cunning, soaking the carcasses of chickens in water. After this treatment, the carcass gains weight up to 20%;
- Have a good look at the packaging. Choose a transparent one through which everything is clearly visible. It should not be damaged;
- if there are pieces of pinkish ice under the packaging, this indicates that the bird was frozen and thawed several times;
- the packaging must have marks on the inspection of the State Veterinary Supervision and an indication of GOST, license plate of the veterinarian, as well as information up to which date storage can be carried out;
- Chicken is chosen depending on the recipe of the dish to be prepared. For the first dishes, choose a carcass weighing 2–3 kg It should be noted: the older the bird, the more borscht of richness. For delicious broths, it is the chicken that suits it. It is best to bake, fry, stew broiler chickens weighing up to 1 kg. They are ideal for second courses.
- Look for the label “No Chlorine” on the label. If it is not, you must refuse the purchase;
- carefully review the expiration date. If the shelf life is more than 7 days, then preservatives may have been used.
Did you know? Chicken meat (especially sirloin) is ideal for athletes. This product has a low fat content, but a decent protein content.
If on the day of purchase there are no plans to cook chicken, then you need to freeze it.Now about defrosting. Chicken should be thawed on a shelf in the refrigerator or in cool water. It takes about 24 hours to defrost a 1.8 kg carcass in the refrigerator, and 3–9 hours.
Defrost the bird in water by placing it in a plastic bag. Water should be changed several times. This defrost takes 2 hours.
To quickly defrost chicken, you can use the microwave. Defrosting time will depend on the size of the carcass or its parts. Chicken (or parts of it) should be turned over as it unfreezes, so that it does not fry. From above it is covered with a special cover that will protect against splashing.
Important! It is worth noting that thawed chicken should not be re-frozen, as it loses its taste and nutritional value. In addition, such a product is subject to a longer heat treatment, since in the process of repeated freezing-thawing, bacteria have time to multiply in it.
Why is it so important to properly chop the chicken?
Chicken parts are bought faster than whole poultry carcasses, but, in general, are already slightly more expensive. Buying and proper butchering a whole chicken will allow you to use it most economically. So, you can make preparations for the planned dishes: select a set for soup, meat for the second dishes, cut a piece for salad.
Before freezing in the refrigerator chamber, it is better to divide it into parts for the preparation of the corresponding dishes and put it in separate packages. Remove air from the bag before sealing.Proper cutting into pieces of chicken carcass allows you to not take up much space in the freezer, and also save time on the preparation of certain dishes.
How to cut chicken into pieces?
You can cut the chicken into pieces in a very short time. The first time it will not be so fast, then get caught.
What is required
Already thawed or bought chilled chicken should be washed and dried with napkins. To cut it, you need a sharp chopping knife or a special secateurs, as well as a board for cutting a sufficient size. For processing leather, it is recommended to use a knife with notches (but you can do the same with a well-sharpened cutting knife everywhere).
You also need a container in which you will put chopped portioned pieces.
Did you know? Due to the content of nutrients, chicken is well processed in the human intestines. It contains B vitamins, iron, sulfur, phosphorus, selenium, calcium, copper and magnesium. This product helps prevent heart attacks, ischemia, strokes, reduces blood pressure and improves metabolic processes in the body.
Step-by-step instructions for cutting
Butchering raw chicken is similar to cutting fried poultry, but is done for a different purpose.
How to cut chicken into parts: video
To cut the raw chicken into pieces, do the following:
- First separate one wing, cutting it along the joint.
- Cut the leg, making a cut along its contours. Turn the leg so that the bone separates from the joint, then you can cut the remainder until it is completely separated.
- Repeat the previous steps on the other hand, with the second wing and leg.
- Cut back by making cuts along the ribs along the spinal column.
- At the bottom of the breast, make incisions to release the sternum. Separate this bone from the meat with your thumb and extend it.
- To cut the breast in half, make a longitudinal section in the middle.
- Carefully cut the bones from the resulting halves, incising with a knife according to their shape. If you want, remove the skin and unnecessary fat from the chicken breasts.
- Cut the leg from the hip at the bend.
- Wings can also be cut in half if desired.
Important! Be sure to wash your hands with soap after working with raw meat, as it may contain pathogenic bacteria.
The limbs (wings and legs) are well suited for stewing or baking. Breast often goes for minced meat products and salads (it can be used in almost all dishes). Trimming, back and bones go to the preparation of broths.
If the chicken has just been taken out of the oven, then it needs to be allowed to cool slightly (about 15 minutes).
Did you know? Ready chicken, when it is cut into pieces, retains its taste for 2 days, and if it was left intact - up to 3 days.
In order to cut it into parts, the actions are as follows:
- Expand chicken carcass breast-up.
- Holding the finished bird with a cutting fork, cut the skin between the carcass and the leg.
- Do the same with meat between the tail and the line of the thigh in the joint closer to the lower back and bend the leg to separate the joint. Cut until the leg is completely separated from the whole part.
- Make a small thin incision and look for a layer of fat between the bones, along which to continue to cut further.
- Repeat with the other leg.
- Make an incision along the sternum and, when you get its branch, make incisions along it.
- Tilting the knife at an angle to the transverse bone, cut the meat lengthwise to the wing.
- Incise between the breast and the wing, bend the wing and cut it along the joint. Separate the second wing in the same way.
Carving chicken and preparing dishes from it, you must adhere to the following recommendations:
- wings and legs are fried and stewed. Breast and fillet go well for cutlets and chops, as well as for cooking salads. A back with trimmings and other bones is good for broths;
- you need to cut the chicken carcass along the joints;
- first of all, when cutting, the legs are separated (completely or cut into hips and lower leg). Then the wings and brisket are separated. The remaining frame is broken into pieces for ease of storage and use for cooking in the broth;
- when cooking stuffed chicken, bones are usually removed. To do this, carefully cut the bones of the thigh and separate the meat from the bone;
- the carcass for the festive roll is cut using another technique. All bones are carefully removed from it.
Cutting the chicken into pieces (even raw, even fried) is not difficult. All that is needed is a sharp chopping knife, cutting board and the bird’s carcass itself. Step-by-step instructions are also useful.