Monday, 17 September 2007

The whole chicken

So the whole chicken has been put in the freezer and is scheduled for Wednesdays dinner, I'm looking forward to the proud moment it goes into my fabulous fan oven. As I said in the previous post I have never cooked a whole chicken at home, we eat plenty of it but I always buy fillets as whole chickens frighten me.

I attended Glasgow College of Food Technology between 1989 and 1992, I gained an HND in Hotel and Catering Institutional Management which quite simply means or should mean I can cook, I can manage a catering establishment and I can also keep the books, hence I own an embroidery company? Every Wednesday we had chef Craik, who was probably mid 40's and I remember quite clearly he had a white Ford Escort XR3, he always seemed just a little to old for it, how I longed to have an XR3, but I was 17-20 so a Metro it was! We started off for weeks chopping vegetables, using extremely sharp knives and learning the termonology for different cuts of vegetables, we then learned the basics of cooking and then came the whole chicken, and when I say a whole chicken I mean a whole chicken the only thing missing were the feathers, someone had very kindly plucked the chickens. So we learned how to prepare a whole chicken for cooking, we removed the claws, Chef showed us if we pulled the tendons how the claws retracted, very amusing, we removed the neck, not quite as amusing, I think I did that with my eyes closed, then came the most disgusting and degrating part, sticking ones hand up the chickens rear end, keeping close to the breast bone, sliding & pushing, seperating the inners from the lining, reaching the back, cupping ones unprotected hand and scouping until shloooooop the inners were now on the table. I was not comfortable, it didn't feel right to be invading the chicken in such a way. And as if the chicken hasn't been though enough, the giblet are then bagged and put back! I have never been able to look at a whole chicken without feeling a certain amount of shame, but when I saw my whole little chicken in Asda with the words 'without giblets' I decided it was time to face my fear and take it home.

I will never forget my Wednesdays with Chef Craik, although he shouted, most Chefs do, he was almost kind when I fainted gutting fish the following week, he made my partner continue with the process until I came round........

Perhaps the preparation's not for me

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