1. On a large cutting board, place bird breast down with drumsticks turned toward you. Using a small, sharp boning knife, cut off tail. Then cut through skin down middle of backbone.
2. Keep knife close to backbone to loosen flesh, cutting around small oyster-shaped piece of meat part-way down back; leave oyster attached to skin. Just below oyster, use point of knife to locate and sever ball joint between hip and thigh.
3. Working toward neck, loosen flesh from carcass. When shoulder blade is reached, keep bone to your right and cut through joint to sever wing from shoulder.
4. Continue loosening flesh around edge of carcass until you reach breastbone. Do not try to detach this because skin is very thin at this point. Turn bird around so neck faces you; repeat steps 2 and 3. Carefully, cut through two spots where wishbone is attached to carcass.
5. When both sides of carcass and wishbone are loosened, lift carcass and cut breastbone away from meat. Cut through cartilage, but do not worry about leaving some attached to flesh. It can be removed more easily later without piercing skin. Remove carcass and, if desired, simmer with vegetables to make a stock.
6. Using kitchen string or unwaxed dental floss, thread a large darning needle. Turn chicken skin-side up and sew closed any holes in skin. Stitch split area near tail together so that chicken roughly forms a rectangle.
7. Turn chicken skin-side down and carefully remove any remaining cartilage in breast area. Detach small breast fillets and use to cover less meaty areas near thighs. Season meat, if desired.
8. Mound stuffing down center of breast. Pull skin up on either side around stuffing and re-form chicken. Sew back of bird closed.
9. Truss bird into attractive chicken shape.
Chicken Recipes – The Perdue Chicken Cookbook
Copyright (C) by Mitzi Perdue – Used with Permission
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