Sunday, September 6, 2009

Using Every Part

The other day I made the mistake of thinking I'd just run to the store and grab some chicken breasts for a dinner party I was doing that eveing. It was the first time I hadn't planned my chicken purchase for when it was on sale, and I was shocked by the regular price of chicken. I was pleasantly surprise however to find the split chicken breasts onsale. How hard could it be to turn them into breasts? I found out it was super easy, and by the time I was done I had seven breasts, a large handful of chicken bits and four cups of broth. My total cost, $4.50.

While there are directions online on how to debone a split breast, I honestly just took a go at it and chopped off the part that looked like the breasts I normally buy in the store. It's pretty easy to figure out, but incase you need directions, I copied these from Wikihow. I started by ripping off the skin so I could get a good look at the meat.

1) Place the chicken breast with the bone down on your cutting board.
2) Start cutting on the thickest part of the chicken breast.
3) Find where the bone starts. When the breast is split, this "vertical" bone is either on one side or the other, so one split chicken breast will have more bone in it than the other.
4) Cut down beside the "vertical" bone and follow it as it curves into the bone on the bottom. If
the piece you are cutting does not have this bone, just cut "horizontally" along the bone on the bottom.
5) Follow the bone all the way over to the other side of the piece of meat. Most chicken breasts only have one bone.
6) Trim off any unwanted fat or cartilage on the meat. Save all the non-meat leftover for making broth later, including the skin.

7) After you cut off the nice breast, go back over the leftovers and you can get a couple good pieces of meat from each split breast. From a package of split breasts I got enough meat to make a pasta dinner for three just off these bits.

8) Place all the non-meat bits in a stew pot and cover with water. Simmer with some salt for about an hour. Take it off heat and let cool (If you don't have time to do the stock right away, just throw it in bags and freeze it till you have time).

9) Strain broth and pour into a pitcher. Leave in the fridge overnight.

10) Skim off the fat and pour broth into quart bags and freeze.


Kay said...

You can skip a step by cooking up the bones with the scraps of meat on them and taking it off after the bones are cooked and the broth made and using it in the soup. Makes for a good, hearty soup. Just add some veggies of choice and a starch (rice, noodles, potatoes, or pasta) and you have a great main course soup.

Theresa said...

Also a good way to use up some old veggies. If you have celery, carrots and onions on hand they make great additions to the broth even if they're getting old in the fridge.....just cut into large chuncks and add to the broth with the chicken scraps.

Robin said...

That's a great idea Theresa. I am notorious for having forgotten veggies in the criper. Thanks for the comment!