Chicken Coop Chatter©
All natural Fresh Whole Chicken averages 99 cents per pound, while that same chicken already pre-cut averages $2-3 per pound. You can cut up those whole chickens yourself and save at least $2.00 per pound and even more if you purchase a labeled Organic product that can run as much as $8.00 per pound. You also gain more meat when you cut up the chicken yourself, pre-cut does not have the back portion, giblets or the breasts, which are sold separately if purchasing the pre-cut. When budgets are tight it's an easy way to save the extra dollars by cutting up that chicken yourself. You do not need to be a professional licensed butcher or need any special tools to cut up your own chicken, whether you grow your own meat birds or you purchase local grown chicken.
Normally if I purchase or process a whole chicken, I bake or smoke it whole, but it's easy to cut up for frying or grilling and you have that extra meat from the back portion and giblets to make your own meat broth and save even more on the budget compared to commercially canned broth.
If you do grow your own meat birds or are considering growing your own, we recommend the Red Sagitta. They resemble a Rhode Island Red, but they mature more quickly, are a great dual purpose bird that lays large to extra large eggs and are ready to process in 12 to 15 weeks without health issues associated with the Cornish Cross that is the number one commercial meat bird in this nation. justfowlingaround.weebly.com/breed-profiles/category/red-sagitta
TO CUT-UP THE CHICKEN:
First and foremost always use proper meat handling guidelines. Wash the work surface and all kitchen tools thoroughly before and after handling meat and wash hands before and after handling meat.
What you will need:
A sharp butcher knife
A flat Work surface or cutting board
Freezer container, freezer paper, heat sealed bags or Freezer Zip Bags
Legs and Thighs
Lay the chicken out on the work surface. Remove any extra fat and the giblets inside the cavity. Starting with the legs and thighs, cut along the natural crease to the joint. Locate that joint separation, then cut through separating the thigh from the body. Repeat for the other leg and thigh. After the legs are cut away from the body, locate the joint between the leg and the thigh and cut through that joint to separate.
Locate the joint between the wing and the body. Cut through that joint to separate from the body. Repeat for the second wing.
Cut along the edge of the rib cage to separate the breast portion from the back portion. If you wish you can cut the back in half at the natural middle of the back. Reserve this meat and the giblets for chicken broth, unless you enjoy the back portion cooked.
Locate the center of the breast, and cut through the cartilage to separate the breast into two portions.
PREPARE THE MEAT
At this point you can package the meat into freezer containers or plastic zip bags and freeze to fry, grill or bake at a later date or cook by your favorite method or refrigerate until ready to use if using within a couple of days. For freezing be sure to label and add the date. Frozen chicken will keep up to 6 months in the freezer and can be double wrapped with butcher paper to keep longer without risk of freezer burn.
When I package anything for the freezer I lay everything flat in a zip bag or heat sealed bag, and store flat in the freezer so it takes up the least amount of room and will stack easily.
CAUTION: As always when preparing meats and foods of any kind, use proper hygiene. Wash the surface with a kitchen friendly disinfectant and keep all kitchen utensils clean. justfowlingaround.weebly.com/earth-friendly-projects/concentrated-citrus-household-cleaner . Wash thoroughly after handling meats and do not prepare meats along side fresh uncooked vegetables to prevent cross contamination. Always cook foods properly. Poultry should be 165 degrees F. inner temperature, in the thickest part of the meat. Use a thermometer to assure doneness.
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