one of my next year butchering goals . . .

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by KatyTheChickenLady, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    is to cut the chicken into parts before freezing. I'm getting tired of defrosting a whole bird when I just really want breasts or quarters for a certain recipe. Anyone know of a good book or have tips on how to do it really right?
  2. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    Here is what I watched when I was trying to learn. I bet I watched it 20 times. I can cut one up in about a minute now. When in doubt, check with a Salatin. LOL

  3. ourflockof4

    ourflockof4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    Northern Ohio
    Yeah that is always a good idea. We probably part out 90% of our birds before we freeze and it makes it SO much easier. Its not hard at all, you just have to find the joints. My wife does that while I do the deed, pluck/skin. We usualy don't even gut, just cut the necks, wings, breast, and back quarters off.

    We have also been cooking several up at a time and freezing the cooked meat. Thats great for a quick meal when we are in a hurry
  4. ChickensRCool

    ChickensRCool Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    We cut up all of our birds before we freeze them. It is really easy. For me (who doesn't have a lot of arm muscles), a big knife works best, but my DH says the size of the knife doesn't make a difference to him.
  5. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 12, 2009
    Its not as hard as one thinks. This is my first year at this, the first one I cut up was hard, then I just took close attention to the tendons which basically hold legs and thighs and wings to the body, now the body isn't that hard either just follow the rib and back. Done easy. I only takes one then you can do it in a few minutes.
  6. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    YES! I do this with all of my birds, unless someone requests it whole. I will try to post a video after my next processing day. There are two ways to do it, both of which are even faster start to finish, than leaving your bird whole.

    Method #1: Kill and bleed out your bird. Lay it on its back on your table. Pinch some breast skin and make a slice in it big enough to get two fingers in. Put a finger from each hand in, and rip apart, clearing both breasts of skin and feathers. Now fillet both breasts off, leaving all bones in. Once the breasts are off, take your bird's pants off- pull HARD on the skin to get it below your bird's knees on both sides, and remove the feet. If you do it right, the feet will still be attached to the skin. Now, one leg at a time, pop the hip out of socket and cut both legs off. You are now left with two boneless skinless breasts, and two skinless legs. Seperate the drumstick/thigh if you want. When I do it this way, I leave the wings in and don't worry about them. Your waste is in one complete package- nothing to clean up, and very little meat left.

    Method #2: Very similar, only keeps the skin on. Kill, bleed and PLUCK your bird. (It's only fast if you have a auto-plucker.) Again, lay the bird on its back and fillet off both breasts and remove both legs, cutting the feet off. You can also save the wings this way, removing them at the end.

    I can do this MUCH faster than leaving them whole, (between gutting, removing the crop/windpipe/head, and cleaning out the cavity,) and it saves the cutting up time later.
  7. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    ALL great info thanks everybody! [​IMG]

    Big red feather that is one of the best demo videos period. I will be watching it over and over. Do you have any idea what the knife shape is called that he's using?

    and does anyone have any knife reccomendations? type, brand, metal???
  8. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

    Apr 18, 2010
    It looks like he's using a curved blade butcher or skinning knife, kinda like this:

    A sharp knife is the best knife - and knives go dull. Get something that you can sharpen at home [​IMG] I have a curved blade similar to the one I linked, and I LOVE it for skinning deer [​IMG] I just use a fillet knife to part out chicken (when I buy store chicken, I part it out too, easier to cook.)
  9. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    very cool . . . can you buy a good knife for 17.00 though? I thought I would have to spend like a hundred.
  10. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

    Apr 18, 2010
    I have this (actually two of them):

    A whopping $35 for...4 knives and a hefty pair of shears (which are FANTASTIC for cutting along the backbone if you want bone in breasts). Pair with a nice sharpener, and you have a sharp knife, which is all you need [​IMG]

    You can pay more for a knife - I have some Cutco knives that were $400+ for 4 knives, and they still lose their edge. The one knife can cut up a whole deer without sharpening, the Walmart set can cut it up with one sharpening. Both can cut up a deer nicely (or a chicken). The handles are better on the Cutco, but sometime they are too slick/smooth for me, especially if I'm cutting up a deer and I'm getting tallow and blood on my hands - the cheapie knives have the ridged plastic handles - harder to clean, but easier to grip.

    Now, I do love my Cutco's, and I was sold when they chopped the penny with the shears, and used the knife to cut the hard rope, but meat is meat, and not hard to cut....a sharp blade of any sort will do the job. The biggest factor is sharp - ALL blades will go dull, just depends on how long it takes. The next biggie is how hard it is to sharpen. I won't let a serrated blade in the house because I can't sharpen it myself.

    So, I have a $5 knife and a $100+ knife, and to me, they are interchangeable [​IMG] The edge on the expensive knife holds longer, but it only takes me a few minutes or less to sharpen the cheap knife. I still have to sharpen the expensive one, just not as often. Say if I'm running through a few deer, I'd sharpen the cheapie every half hour, and the Cutco every hour. I sharpen when they stop cutting on contact, a sharp knife is a safe knife.

    ETA: If you look at the kit, the knife that is second in from the right is a curved blade, and it is by far my most used knife. I actually buy the kit to get that knife - I've used one so much that I couldn't sharpen it anymore, and had to get a new one. I really, really like using it.

    I like knives [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2010

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