How Fabricating Meats Saves You Money
Many people cook at home by using the prepackaged meats. For example, you can go to Walmart now and purchase a package of 6-8 chicken breast for 9.88 that are individually wrapped. I have bought these in the past. Do the math and you’re paying $1.65 per chicken breast. However, currently, whole chickens sell for $1.60/LB and with a 5lb chicken you will spend about $8.00
This $8 cost for a chicken can yield you 2 chicken breasts. Plus, you will also be able to make use of the 2 chicken thighs, the wings, and the legs. Oh, and don’t throw away those empty carcasses. They are packed with great flavor, so save them for a couple gallons of stock that you can make at home!
What does this mean for you? Well obviously, if the goal is to make a meal for 2, then pick yourself up a whole raw chicken or two. Yielding 4 breasts you can make delicious sous vide chicken dish. And obviously taking it further you can cook off the thighs, roast those legs. Really any cooking method. I love braising chicken legs and thighs. Doing this, well for $16.00, the price of 2 whole chickens you can expect about 8 diverse meals, with a plethora of scraps you can roast off for stock. The same math can be applied to purchasing a leg of lamb, whole or half of a salmon, and so on over other meats available at the local supermarkets.
Now I’m not nieve with this. I know that convenience is a big factor when cooking at home! Heck, I already mentioned I have purchased the past prepackaged meats. They are great, and convenience does beat cost sometimes. If you’re planning to do a sous vide cook for a handful of people; it is probably going to be more ideal for you to purchase just the breasts over purchasing 10 chickens and breaking them down individually. Its also not always convenient to find storage of the chicken bodies or even to find the time to make a stock. But what I want you to understand is that on occasions, when making homecooked smaller meals for one to four people. I feel it is a better situation to purchase the larger cuts. Take the extra time if you can and enjoy the preparation, enjoy the meal!
OH, yeah! One last thing. Nothing beats knowing a skill. Learn to cook with these whole cuts and show off the skill. Teach others, your family, friends, your date. Expand other peoples knowledge on food and enjoy that much of a better meal when you know and understand the work behind it all!
Respect Your Meats
One thing I feel a lot of people have forgotten about in cooking is the life being taken when we consume these meats. But I don’t mean this in the manner that I only eat vegetables; because I definitely do eat meat. But that we need to have a sense of respect for our foods. By taking the time to learn proper fabrication techniques and utilize everything we can when we cook. That alone could add to your understandings of food & that we as humans should do our best work with every meal because something died for us to eat.
I hope you are saying right now “I know what I eat was a living animal”. But let me ask you a question. Taking survival out of the question, would you kill a live animal, slaughter it from A-to-Z so that you can cook burgers for dinner tonight? I feel most people have a problem with the actual slaughtering part. This page, these guides are not too teach you how to do that. I’m trying to make a point though. We are VERY disconnected from what we consume.
But does that mean we buy the poorly, lower quality controlled meats when we cook? I personally prefer not too when I have the opportunity to do just the opposite. Try this the next time you want to cook pork, chicken, beef, etc..
Go to the store, the butcher, supermarket, etc. Choose to purchase a whole cut. Realize, from there onto when you consume it that it is up to your responsibility to take care of the meat. Make sure it’s properly stored, properly fabricated, and properly cooked. When you start the fabrication process, do your best to not butcher the animal. For a whole chicken as an example, it is easy to miss some extra meat left on the carcass. Attempt to not do so. The whole idea goes back to proper utilization of the animal you are choosing to fabricate at home.
If you don’t find a use for each and every part, even if that use is just to make a stock or infuse a broth. Well, then you’re wasting a bit of that chicken. Waste in my eyes is the worst part of home cooking. My views from that bleed back into the waste of money, but also that partial waste of life. It brings nothing positive to the dish.
Going over what I’m saying, I don’t want you to think of me as a preacher. So do what you want, I’m simply here to provide a guide for those who are interested in learning this process. I want to make note that I don’t aim to make you feel bad. So please dont, in doing this whole process don’t allow yourself to be upset either if you do so happen to waste. It is not totally great to waste, however, the world will not end. I firmly believe that if you try your best, & you fabricated the animal to the best of your ability. Even if you missed a cut, or cut the useable meat and so on. Then you’re one step ahead already!
You will only get better for each try, and eventually, you may see you’re getting consistent and good looking cuts made.
More Great Guides Below
Guides for poultry
Guides for Fish
Guides for Beef
Guides for Pork
I would like to conclude my guides with a brief statement on how you can use these and learn from them.
I fully recommend that you begin these practices by first reading over the guide a few times. One, maybe two read-throughs should cover it. Then get your proteins ready and right before you get to work proceed with another reading. Afterward, begin the process and work closely with the guides. As you fabricate the protein, follow along with what I do and how I do it. Paying attention to all the little bones, fatty spots, and gristle strung throughout the piece of meat.
Once you’ve done this work a few times, you will notice trends. The anatomy of the animal. For a chicken, you will learn to feel where the joints are. Then, if you would like to transfer this to a turkey, a quale, or basically any other bird. The anatomy follows closely for different animals. That’s the way nature works. So have fun and make sure you’re practicing!
Now Go Get Cooking
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