The Adventure of Fried ChickenOctober 25, 2012
Posted by Kanga.
As a young child, my first anatomy lessons came at the kitchen sink as I watched my mother cut up the chickens we raised on our farm. I would point at organs and ask “what is that?” and “what does it do?” Once the organs were extracted and sorted out (edible and non-edible) she had a very specific and methodical way of cutting up the chicken for frying. It was very similar to this:
with the addition of cutting out the wishbone and taking out the breast bone and sternum before cutting the breasts apart. There was also a very specific way of arranging the chicken in the cast iron frying pan so that it would all fit. The cutting method makes for very easily identified pieces once cooked and served. You knew if you were getting a thigh or a breast.
This is apparently a very Western thing. In the East, it is all about a sharp meat cleaver and the cutting up is rather random. It certainly isn’t limited to separating the pieces neatly at the joints. Any and all bones may be chopped in mid shaft. This results in a guessing game as to what you are getting and the proliferation of bone shards. You might even end up with all joints and no meat.
I miss the logical, methodical, industrial revolution way of cutting up chicken. I also miss the wishbone. How does any one get their wishes around here?