This is the first time I’ve ever cut up a whole chicken. I usually just specify the part(s) that I want from the butcher and he does the rest of the work. However, this time I needed a very specific cut – a beautiful French Cut crown of breast with the skin intact.
I actually saw this in a MasterClass episode and wanted to replicate the dish. It’s not a live chicken of course but it has everything still intact – head, innards etc – it hasn’t even been disemboweled. I bought this for RM 24.60 – it’s a free range chicken that goes for RM 18 / kg.
The first step is to cut off the head, ass (Bishop’s nose) and feet so you have more room to work with.
Then, you’ll have to take the organs out of the body cavity of the chicken – just put your hand down the cloaca (chicken don’t have an anal cavity) and pull out everything you can feel. It’s connected so it’s not that hard – everything from the heart to the liver can be just extracted by just pushing your entire fist in and pulling hard to get the giblets.
Think of it as the opposite of stuffing a turkey.
I put everything I’ve cut up or removed on a dinner plate for future use.
The next thing is to remove the wishbone from the chicken. It’s located somewhere in the neck – there’s a small bone that can be cut out and discarded so the crown of breast will be perfect.
I wanted that particular cut to be heavy on the skin so that it’ll be moist so I made the incisions on the skin very close to where the drumstick ends.
The next step is to twist the entire chicken leg to the opposite direction (to where the chicken would naturally stand if it’s alive) and cut out the leg at the thigh from the oyster that surround the bone.
This will allow the skin from the thigh part to cover the entire breast.
Next, I sliced off the wings and did a French style cut that exposes the bone of the mini drumstick on the wing. You don’t have to do this but it looks pretty. I didn’t do a very good job at it though since it was my first time – I cut it too high up on the joint.
The last bit that needs to be done is to chop off the rest of the carcass. Save this for stock!
You’ll have a nice crown of breast with quite a lot of skin on – just the cut I wanted to have for an awesome dish I made over the weekend!
I learned a lot about dressing chickens while doing this (and cut my hands several times too) and I’ll just buy whole undressed chickens from now on…
…so I can get the exact cut that I want! :)