How NOT to Carve a Chicken

It’s really sad when there have to be two bad kitchen days in a row. Yesterday I burned our grilled cheese sandwich to where it could easily have been charcoal (And Sometimes Lunch Today is Tomorrow’s Briquette) … and today … well I had one of my more embarrassing kitchen moments to date. “Yes, the Chicken Has a Breast,” would have been a title worthy of encapsulating the experience, but that was a touch too dramatic even for me. So without further ado may I present “How NOT to Carve a Chicken.”

To set the stage for you, we are in the thick of potty training, and today had been full of accidents and melt-downs. It had been an emotional day and I think we all needed that 8 o’clock bed time to come a little swifter.

I decided by accident number three and melt-down number four that this day needed a simple dinner solution. I put a whole chicken in the crockpot, atop some onions and carrots, coated it with olive oil, and massaged it with salt, pepper and, and some herbs. I put the crock pot on full whack and let it go.

Before I go further here is a helpful history tid bit. I am not comfy with whole carcasses. The first turkey I ever made ended with the neck flying across our kitchen because I didn’t realize it was in the chest cavity. The first chicken I ever made I left the paper pouch with the heart and liver, in the chicken as it cooked, which gave everything an odd flavor. The second chicken I roasted turned out decent, as did my second turkey, but that ladies and gentleman has been over a year ago. Needless to say this is not my area of expertise.  

Empirically the chicken turned out well today. I missed the nice crispy skin that happens when you take the time to babysit it in the oven, but the flavor was nice and it was moist. It exited the crockpot and was placed on my cutting board to rest. I had thrown some red bliss potatoes on the stove earlier and they were now tender. I drained them and threw them in a bowl with some cream, butter, salt, pepper, parsley, and did a rustic, lazy mash. I set out a serving plate, grabbed my knife and went back to my chicken. I made the normal cut down the middle, which as I remembered, is usually how you release the breast meat from the ribs. There was little to no meat. I was confused and as I looked at this chicken the back seemed crooked and weird, and the legs and wings looked odd too. 

“What on earth was wrong with this bird! I can barely get meat off! Why would this chicken have ever been butchered? It doesn’t have a breast!”

After trying to field my thoughts and after hacking this poor, deformed chicken to death, I set my knife down and just wanted to cry. As I stood there distraugh the light went on. I returned to my cutting board and gently flipped over the bird. And wouldn’t you know … the chicken has a breast! 

No I didn’t take a picture of the mayhem that laid on my cutting board. I had had enough real life for one day and seeing my husband smile as I told him what I did was quite enough. We had a good chuckle about it and ate our breast meat. So today I learned that when you carve a chicken make sure your bird is right side up, and make sure you brush up on proper carving skills before diving in. 

Happy Bird Roasting! 

Do you struggle with carving or simply lack experience? Here’s a great video from Jamie Oliver’s team. Next time will be better. 😉

Jamie Oliver: How to Carve a Chicken

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