Ready or Not #199: Cutting Up a Chicken

Preparing our food has been made so easy for us today.  We can pop on down to the store where everything is pre-packaged, pre-cut and pre-prepared for us.  Our grocery stores have made everything so convenient and easy for us, but at what cost?  Financially we pay more for this convenience, yes, but we also pay in the loss of knowledge and skill.  One of those skills that is being lost by the wayside is the art of cutting up a whole chicken

If we want to eat fried chicken most people have only two choices, go buy some pre-fried chicken at a fast food outlet OR go buy a pre-cut up chicken and fry it.  Not many people go out to the chicken coop anymore and grab a chicken, cut its head off, pluck it, clean it, dress it out and fry it up.  I know that there might be some of you that still do that, but you are in the minority – a very small minority.  As a matter of fact I have friends in their 50’s, 60’s, and even 70’s, which have never cut up a whole chicken.  I am talking about a whole chicken that has already been cleaned, processed and purchased from the store!  They don’t know how.

Cutting up a chicken is not a difficult thing to do and it is so much cheaper to buy a whole chicken than to buy chicken that has been pre-prepped and pre-cut.  Stretching my food dollar has always been a big priority.

When my children were younger I could take one chicken and make five different meals out of it for a family of four (1-Fried chicken, 2-Stir fry, 3-Chicken and dumplings, 4-Homemade chicken noodle soup, and 5-Chicken pot pie).  The first night, I would de-bone and fry a breast for my husband, fry the two chicken legs and serve that to my children and fry up a thigh for me (my children and I prefer the dark meat).  The next day I would use the remaining breast in a stir fry.  Then with the remaining thigh, wings and the carcass (including the chicken tender that is under the breast) I would boil it all up and make a really good broth.  I would then divide the broth and meat in half and make chicken and dumplings one night and homemade chicken noodle soup then next day.  With the leftover soup, I would then add more vegetables and potatoes, thicken it a bit and make a chicken pie.  All of that because I cut up my own chicken and used the chicken like I wanted.

I could get away with this when my kids were younger because they weren’t too concerned about the quantity of chicken pieces, only the quality of the meal.  Now that they are older, they want more chicken pieces in their servings.  But if worse came to worse, they could get along with smaller meat servings and up the veggie side dishes to satiate them.

Cutting up a chicken is not difficult and I hope that you will try it at least once just so that you will have a new skill, even if you don’t have to save money on your food bill.  To see how easy it is to cut up a chicken watch this Cutting up a Whole Chicken video and it will show you how you can easily de-skin the chicken (if you are health conscious) and how you effectively cut up and use a chicken to its fullest potential.

Go to the Recipes tab for the Danish dumplings recipe and the Homemade Chicken Noodle soup recipe.  You will also find a really good Mile High Baking Powder Biscuit recipe to serve with the soups and a pie dough recipe for the chicken pie.

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