The first week of the cooking class was focused on poultry, particularly chicken. At the start of the class we learned about the different types of chickens and talked about various ways to prepare a chicken to make sure it does not dry out. After the introduction to chicken we were taught how to break down a chicken in both American and European styles. The American style of breaking down a chicken separates the bird into 8 pieces while the European style leaves you with 4 pieces. We then took the preparation skills we learned and applied them to a recipe.
We were able to choose between four recipes. Maryland fried chicken, chicken Kiev, Cornish Hen with sausage stuffing, and grilled Cornish hens Diable. I chose to cook the Cornish hens with sausage stuffing. To prepare the chicken I had to cut out the spine, then remove the ribs and breast plate. The head chef showed me a few techniques and by the end of the preparation I felt fairly confident in the knife skills I had just learned. After prepping the bird I made the sausage stuffing. when the stuffing was finished I stuffed the bird then sewed it back together. This was the most difficult part of the recipe but after a few pointers I was able to stitch the bird back together. I then trussed the bird and rubbed butter over the skin then seasoned it with salt and pepper before putting it in oven.
I learned a lot of new techniques in this class and will be practicing them throughout the week. So expect to see quite a few chicken recipes out of me in the next few days.