How to Debone Chicken 101, Jacques Pépin's Way

This is a remake of chicken deboning by the remarkable chef, Jacques Pépin. Once you try deboning, you'll soon realize how much you can save and get out of just one chicken.

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How to Debone Chicken 101, Jacques Pépin's Way Recipe
21 Steps
Ingredients
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1

As with all chicken prep, ensure it's cleaned first. Next, it's better to put it into a freezer, yes freezer, for at least 20 mins before it gets frozen stiff. Then it'll be easier to handle later.

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Just before you start, give the bird one last wipe with a kitchen towel. Ensure also that your knives are all sharpened. Even then, you'll soon see that we don't use the knives as often as we like.

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First thing to tackle is the wing tip. Cut it off at the cartilage between the second joint from the tip. Use a clean towel to grip and pull the wing tip to protrude the two bones as shown in video.

First thing to tackle is the wing tip. Cut it off at the cartilage between the second joint from the tip. Use a clean towel to grip and pull the wing tip to protrude the two bones as shown in video.

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Pull out any one of the two bones.

Pull out any one of the two bones.

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Turn the meat inside out and presto, you've got a lollipop. 🎉🍭 Store in freezer till you have enough to deep fry or bake. Then be prepared to see it disappear into thin air.

Turn the meat inside out and presto, you've got a lollipop. 🎉🍭 Store in freezer till you have enough to deep fry or bake. Then be prepared to see it disappear into thin air.

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We remove the wishbone first, otherwise it gets in the way of carving. Mind your fingers - it is sharp.

We remove the wishbone first, otherwise it gets in the way of carving. Mind your fingers - it is sharp.

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If you remove the wishbone without breaking, then you'll have a wishing bone to play with someone.

If you remove the wishbone without breaking, then you'll have a wishing bone to play with someone.

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Now, slice straight along the backbone. The cut here will be quite shallow, considering the backbone with lean meat. Duhh...

Now, slice straight along the backbone. The cut here will be quite shallow, considering the backbone with lean meat. Duhh...

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Here, you want to cut through the joints between the wings and the body. Just enough so that you can tear the top part of the meat down to the oyster (dark meat between the thigh and chicken back).

Here, you want to cut through the joints between the wings and the body. Just enough so that you can tear the top part of the meat down to the oyster (dark meat between the thigh and chicken back).

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Upon reaching the oyster, you start cutting around it, nearest to the bones. From hereon, we do very little knifing except for scrapping meat from bones.

Upon reaching the oyster, you start cutting around it, nearest to the bones. From hereon, we do very little knifing except for scrapping meat from bones.

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To break away the thighs, bring the legs up close to the chest, then twist the thigh away from the body whilst holding the chicken's knee. It should snap at the joints easily with a snapping sound.

To break away the thighs, bring the legs up close to the chest, then twist the thigh away from the body whilst holding the chicken's knee. It should snap at the joints easily with a snapping sound.

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Avoid tearing out the keel fillet just yet. That, we'll do later. For now, we'll pull and tear away the meat carefully from the carcass.

Avoid tearing out the keel fillet just yet. That, we'll do later. For now, we'll pull and tear away the meat carefully from the carcass.

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To remove the keel fillet, use either your fingers or thumb and slide along the keel cartilage to split it and pull it apart. Look mum - no knife.

To remove the keel fillet, use either your fingers or thumb and slide along the keel cartilage to split it and pull it apart. Look mum - no knife.

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Repeat on the other side. By now you'd know that you need to repeat most steps in this guide. Reserve the carcass for healthy home-made stock. See other Snapguides on stock making.

Repeat on the other side. By now you'd know that you need to repeat most steps in this guide. Reserve the carcass for healthy home-made stock. See other Snapguides on stock making.

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Remove the sinew (tendon). It's better off added to the stock pot. It's too tough for good eats. My trusty little towel piece is pretty handy for grips. I made it specially for this. It's dedicated.

Remove the sinew (tendon). It's better off added to the stock pot. It's too tough for good eats. My trusty little towel piece is pretty handy for grips. I made it specially for this. It's dedicated.

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Now the scraping part. Cut around the tendons then scrape meat away from bones. Mind your fingers though. Not from sharp bones but from the sharp knife. That's why all you need here is a paring knife.

Now the scraping part. Cut around the tendons then scrape meat away from bones. Mind your fingers though. Not from sharp bones but from the sharp knife. That's why all you need here is a paring knife.

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We're still with the paring knife but I finish off with a heavy cook's knife or in this case, a huge chopper to break the femur bone inside. I used the blunt edge so as to avoid cutting the skin.

We're still with the paring knife but I finish off with a heavy cook's knife or in this case, a huge chopper to break the femur bone inside. I used the blunt edge so as to avoid cutting the skin.

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Not cutting the skin ensures it doesn't shrink while cooking. Next, you can choose either to debone the wing (not the wing tip deboned earlier) while intact to the body as shown or,

Not cutting the skin ensures it doesn't shrink while cooking. Next, you can choose either to debone the wing (not the wing tip deboned earlier) while intact to the body as shown or,

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as I've chosen, cut the whole wing off and make lollipop fritters out of it. Note: This complete deboning method, from start to finish, applies to all kinds of birds, whether turkey, duck, quail, etc.

as I've chosen, cut the whole wing off and make lollipop fritters out of it. Note: This complete deboning method, from start to finish, applies to all kinds of birds, whether turkey, duck, quail, etc.

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Finally, the chicken is completely deboned and ready like Jacques Pépin's way. (Pls excuse back cat meows - must be fighting over something). BTW, I'm cutting this bird for another recipe. But you,

Finally, the chicken is completely deboned and ready like Jacques Pépin's way. (Pls excuse back cat meows - must be fighting over something). BTW, I'm cutting this bird for another recipe. But you,

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can make sauteed spinach or other stuffings for your chicken. Then roll it up as shown and tie it up for a galantine or ballotine. I may post a guide for that soon so stay tuned. Thank you for liking.

can make sauteed spinach or other stuffings for your chicken. Then roll it up as shown and tie it up for a galantine or ballotine. I may post a guide for that soon so stay tuned. Thank you for liking.

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