Breaking Down A Chicken

photo 1 photo 2  photo 3

Today I practiced the techniques for breaking down a chicken I learned on Monday. As you can see from the first picture I started with the whole bird. I then used the knife skills I was taught and broke the bird down into quarters, also known as European style. I then further broke the bird down into eighths, also known as the American style. For the dish I wound up making I had to cut the chicken breasts in half so everything would cook evenly. If you look at the bottom left corner of the third picture you can see I also attempted to French the chicken wing. The chef in the cooking class went over this technique briefly but I thought I would give it a try.

Cooking Class Week 1: Poultry

Cornish Hen

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.

Spicy Asian Chicken with Rice Noodles

Spicy Chicken with noodles

It looks like Tuesday is becoming my experimental day in the kitchen. Today I was really in the mood for some kind of Asian dish but I couldn’t decide on what to make. In the end I decided to go with a spicy chicken and noodle dish. I found a few recipes for something similar to this but did not stick to one recipe tonight. The sauce is made up of garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic chili sauce, and some sesame oil. I decided to use peppers and broccoli as the vegetable in this dish. The broccoli soaks up the sauce very well and tasted incredible. The rice noodles make this dish very light and do not fill you up like pasta would. Like I said I came up with this while I was messing around with your typical Asian ingredients so if you are going to give something like this a try just keep tasting throughout and it should turn out great.

Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken

I am continuing on with recipes from the Superbowl menu. Making the fried chicken was a bit of an adventure. I don’t have a deep fryer so instead I filled a pot with oil and used a meat thermometer to heat up the oil to the required temperature. However, all the trouble was well worth it. The chicken was crispy on the outside and moist and juicy on the inside. The spices in the coating added a nice flavor and heat. Enjoy and if you try this dish please leave a comment and let me know how it went.

Fried Chicken

Mexican Style Chicken Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese1 mac2

Hello everyone hope you guys are doing well. Today I decided to make macaroni and cheese with a bit of a Mexican flare. The addition of the chicken and peppers turned this from a side dish to a meal in and of itself. The recipe is easy to follow and the dish takes about 45 minutes to make from start to finish. As I was cooking this dish I realized that if you stop after step 4 and leave out the pasta you make an incredible queso dip, in fact I nearly split this recipe into two parts because the cheese sauce tasted so good. Have fun making it and I hope you enjoy it!

Mexican Style Chicken Mac and Cheese