I don’t like to brag, but I own a lot of knives. For cutting things, the blade you use can be very important. For this article, we are going to focus on destroying a chicken with sharp objects.
For killing and gutting the bird, you will need to choose your murder weapon. A heavy chef’s knife will be the primary tool you use and any such knife will work just fine. Use at least eight inches of dependable stainless steel, and it will cut most of those tiny chicken bones.
You can go with a Japanese-style cutting knife or a boning knife too. They all have different handles, but I prefer the wooden ones for a better grip. For a traditional death, you’ll need some fast feet, a pot of boiling water, a butcher’s station, a blowtorch, a chopping block, some rope, and an ax (if your knife is not heavy enough for the killing stroke).
First, let’s murder the chicken. There’s no wrong way to do this as long as it’s dead and the meat doesn’t get blown up (no explosives please). The traditional method is to tie the bird down and chop off the head. A chopping block and ax will work great for that. However, if you really want to have some fun, try using a thick rope and nothing else. Watch out for the eyeballs if you go with strangulation. A chicken’s eyes can travel five or six feet if you break the neck just right.
Once you have a headless bird, then you need to pluck the feathers. To make it easier, duck the chicken head first a few times in the water. You don’t want to cook it yet, so just a few dunks before you pluck. When you’ve got all the hairs you can, then break out the blowtorch and burn off the rest. Don’t get excited and burn the meat. Remember, that carcass has a hunk of flesh that you’ll want to eat later. You don’t want to overcook it before you’re even done playing with it.
Next, you can take the chicken to the butcher’s station. A good butcher station for chickens (or anything you’re going to eat really) needs something to hang the meat on. You’ll want to hang the meat up by the feet and make slits around the bird’s feet. Then you cut. For a chicken, you’ll need to cut from groin to chest. Pull the skin up over its head like a coat. It’ll look kind of funny, but try not to laugh.
Now you get to gut it. Cut from the groin area downward, slowly. You want to watch and cut carefully and be wary of those intestines. They will just fall out all over you if you don’t cut with care. Also, if you want to keep the organs, make sure you store them in Ziploc bags and freeze them for later.
The blood. Oceans of blood. No matter what you’re cutting, there’s always more blood in it than you expect. Make sure you have a bucket or something else to catch all of those precious life juices so you can give it to your friends. There is a lot more blood in a little chicken than you think. If you’re collecting it, you can use a large tub if you have one. Tubs make a great addition to any butcher’s station.
Now clean off the carcass. Spraying water hard through the guts and insides of it. If it clucks, then you’ll need to start over.
Now that you’ve got the chicken ready to cut up and eat, you can take it out of the butcher station and into the kitchen. Give me a few weeks to finish up a project I’m working on, and I’ll come back to tell you how to turn the carcass into a chicken dinner with the family.