Knife skills interstitial: deboning a chicken leg
On Saturday, December 12th, I took a knife skills class with Rachael Narins from Chicks with Knives. Her combination of natural skill and genuine enthusiasm is intoxicating. She so obviously loves what she does and is entirely unguarded about sharing what she knows. Her approach transforms you into a better cook – it’s not an option, you WILL learn something. She enlightens and demystifies and makes you think that you can pull off some of the magical things that she does in her secret suppers. But really, we’re all much better off just attending her dinner events.
Rachael shows us how to properly “true” our knives (not sharpen – big difference) while Rose of LA Food Works looks on.
We covered a lot of ground in a few hours, and ate handsomely afterward. But rather than do one ginormous, it’ll-take-you-an-hour to read synopsis of the event, I’m going to post little bits here and there. This first one involves chicken, so if you’re squeamish about seeing meat being meanly handled, scooch on by.
How to debone a chicken leg so you can stuff it with apples, bread crumbs, other animals, cheese, leftover fried rice, or whatever:
First, with the tip of your knife, you cut around the knuckle at the top, severing the connections and staying close to the bone while pulling the meat away from the side. Curl your fingers in and use your knuckles as a guide.
Then you gently peel the meat, like a banana, about 3/4 of the way down the bone, minding the tendons. It looked a bit like slipping off a sock. Hack off most of the recently peeled bone with a cleaver, leaving just a small bit at the end for people to hold on to. Stuff. Bake. Voila.
Big, warm thanks to Rachael and everyone in my class – who ALL showed up despite the pouring rain outside. We had a really great time and learned a lot. More knife skills interstitials to come.