Much to my abject horror, I found out that in the class we'd be learning to debone and cook a whole chicken. A. Whole. Chicken. Anyone who knows me knows if there's one thing that freaks me out, its chicken. I get that I'm a bit irrational about it. Especially when I'll take down a soft shelled crab or eat sushi without a second thought. But chicken's one of my culinary Achilles heels.
If it wasn't for this blog and you reading it, I might have bailed or at least bagged that part of the class. But I started thinking about when in Kathleen Flinn's book her teacher at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris tells her they must learn to taste and cook everything... even things they don't like. As a chef, he says, what you are asked to cook is often out of your control.
So I decided to embrace the chicken, so to speak. I may never do it again, but by God, I would learn to do it.
Class started out perfectly... I met my friends there and was excited to discover that friend and fellow food blogger Arianna Levitus from Don't Forget The Flour was assisting the teacher, Chef Susan Holt. The work space is clean and chic. For a 10am class, we were delighted there was coffee. We started off with an overview of types of knives and Susan demonstrated what each were for. She reinforced the meanings of julienne, dicing, mincing and all types of new cuts that I can't wait to try in my recipes. And then... the chicken.
Susan demonstrated two ways to debone and section the chicken. The second was the "spatchcock" method. Not only did it sound hilarious and barbaric, but spatchcocking removes the back bone leaves you with a whole intact bird... so if I was going to do it once, I would spatchcock. Fine, I cringed, but check out my handiwork:
Arianna Levitus, Chef Susan Holt, (me) Tammy Gordon
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