Monthly Archives: February 2011

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Free Cooking Class: How to Fabricate a Chicken

This is the second of weekly Free Cooking Class based out of our kitchen in Dubai. We are going back to the basics because all of us could learn a tip or two from the professionals.  I know that having married one, my kitchen skills have improved drastically (if you tell him I said that, I will deny it).   As much as it can challenge the ego of any woman for a man to be giving her cooking tips, I will admit that many of these lessons have made my life easier and have also reaped more consistent results. You can continue viewing this in text and photos or view video.

Usually, when I buy a whole chicken, that bird gets cooked whole, but that is awfully limiting! Handling raw chicken can be daunting for even the more adventurous people out there, but sometimes, you just have to do it.  It is cheaper to buy the whole chicken and fabricate it yourself and it also gives you more parts to use for different things than if you bought parts. For example, you can use the back bones for stock and soup and collect the wings for your favourite chicken wing recipe. Now back to the dangling fowl!

You will need: One whole chicken, a boning knife, a cutting board and a sense of humour.

1. Get rid of the bum. Hold on to the tail bits and slice it right off!

2. Off with the wings. Cut around the wing joints, snap them, then cut through in between the joints.

3. Spread that leg. You can see where the leg joins the thigh.  It has a little fat deposit at the joint.  Cut through it.

4.Thigh draw nigh. Lift up the thigh and cut through the skin between the thigh and the breast, bending the thigh backward until you see the ball socket.

Cut along the back bone right through the ball and socket joint…

…and you will have one sexy thigh in your hands…but we digress, back to that little birdie…

5.Lay your hand upon the breast. You see that line that runs the length between both breasts? Keep an eye on it.  Prepare to cut right along it.

Like this…

Still going, cutting until the knife comes upon the keel bone…

Then you ease the flesh away and cut along the bone (not slicing it but closely over it)

Continue cutting along the bones with delicate cuts  using the tip of the knife and you will end up with perfect breasts.

That is the wing ball and socket joint attached to the breast. You would leave that on if you were making a supreme, which is a semi boneless breast half.  But we are yielding boneless breasts with this fabrication so cut through it.

Trim away excess fat and tendons …

Repeat all steps for the other side of the chicken….

This is what will be left over.  It’ s perfect for stocks and soups so please keep it handy!

There you have it!  One jointed bird ready for some herbs and spices and the heat treatment!

CHEF’S NOTE: Fabricated poultry will have a shorter cooking time than when whole. The breasts cook quicker than other red meat parts so you may want to cook those for a short period or cook them with things like veal bacon to retain moisture. Some think that breast meat is trashy and chewy. It isn’t. Overcooked breast meat is!  Cooked right, the breast is the most delicate part of the fowl.