Detroit Eats

Musings of A Detroit Based Food Fanatic

Posts Tagged ‘Beef

Techniques 101 –Breaking Down a Chicken to 8 Pieces

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    ( In tribute to Jack Ubaldi)

    Many years ago I attended the New York Restaurant School. This was my first experience with formal culinary education. It was a tremendous experience that set my course in life.

     Amongst the instructors was a gentleman who taught butchering named Jack Ubaldi. He was a great man! If you click on the link you can learn more about this well known butcher, restaurateur, author and teacher. Under his tutelage I learned how to break down a side of beef,pork, lamb. How to break poultry down and, something no chef I have come across knows how to do, remove the bones from a chicken while leaving the skin and carcass intact ( I will cover this in another post!). These are skills I use to this day!

   One of Jack Ubaldi’s best known traits was to bring a bottle of wine with him to class. I remember fondly Jack giving me the keys to his locker and being sent for the wine because it was not enough to learn how to butcher, we had to learn how to cook what we cut!. We would cook a Newport Steak or Denver Ribs or whatever we worked with as part of our class.

     Butchering is a lost art. As much as the American Culinary Federation  does to keep standards high for skills required to be a Certified Chef, there are a large number of practicing culinarians who call themselves Chef who have no concept of how to break down a side of beef into quarters and then usable cuts or could explain the confirmation of various animals. This is due in large part to the prevalence of portion cut beef and chicken that has eliminated the opportunity for Chef’s to use this skill.

     One of the easiest tasks of butchering involves breaking down Chicken into individual pieces. The process starts by removing the wings from the carcass.

chicken 1

chicken 2

The second is to remove the leg and thigh and then separating the leg from the thigh.

chicken 3 chicken 6 chicken 7

The most important thing to remember is to use the path of least resistance ( Note the center picture where there is a separation of the darker meat –leg, and the lighter flesh – thigh). This is where you want to make your cut. Your cuts should be through the cartilage instead of the bone.

chicken 8 chicken 9   chicken 10

Lastly the breast should be separated from the back and either left bone in or ( in a further step) made boneless.It can the be split into 2 pieces through the central breast plate (which in a young chicken is cartilage).

chicken 11

Bon Apetit


Written by Ed Schenk

May 22, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Just Messing Around in the Kitchen Pt #1 (Korean Pot Roast)

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     Sometimes the best creations are born out of necessity. Last Week I had occasion to make a dish that excited me enough to write about it. I was in the local supermarket and came across an item that would become part of my menu plan for the week. What I found was an English Roast on sale. It is unfortunate that at times this cut of meat can be somewhat pricy so when I find it on sale I always stock up. What made this special is how I chose to prepare it. I currently have a daughter in Seoul, South Korea and she had sent me some Taeyangcho Gochujang (Hot pepper paste). This is available in Korean specialty markets here in Detroit and across the U.S. I had been experimenting with this paste in several recipes and liked it but hadn’t found ,what I considered, the best way to use it.For a while I had been intrigued by some of the Korean simmered dishes I had been looking at online and decided to make a “Korean” Pot Roast. This turned out to be one of the easiest dishes I had ever made and it was fabulous.

Korean Pot Roast

1 English Roast (2# approx) or other cut for Pot Roast
1 Onion Chopped roughly
1 Carrot sliced in coins
1 tablespoon Garlic
1/4 cup Soy Sauce (Low sodium)
2 cups of water
1/2 tube (30 GM) Taeyangcho Gochujang (Hot pepper paste)



Sear beef for 4 minutes on each side
Add remaining ingredients
Bring to a boil
reduce to a simmer and simmer for 2 hours or until tender.
Serve with white rice
Garnish with fresh basil and cashews


The Hot Pepper paste has just enough heat and depth of flavor to make this a truly great dish.

Written by Ed Schenk

February 3, 2010 at 3:38 am