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Chicken lollipop
January 24, 2014 4:46 PM   Subscribe

Jacques Pépin debones a Chicken Galantine Ballotine. (SLYT)

Bonus: Before you debone it, you have to pluck it
posted by growabrain (120 comments total) 110 users marked this as a favorite

 
I mean, this is a pretty old video, but it did change my life all those years ago when I saw it.
posted by Jon_Evil at 4:54 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


I've done this! Based on this video! It was delicious!

I did have a friend over who just looked more and more horrified as the process went on, and finally just left. He missed out.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 4:54 PM on January 24 [5 favorites]


I love Jacques. I've watched a lot of cooking shows in my day (as in, all of them, since I was 12), and his is one of the very few that strives more for education than entertainment or celebrity. I have learned so much from him.

His Fast Food My Way series is available for streaming at KQED. I've been watching it lately.

You can also watch the excellent Jacques and Julia Cooking at Home on Hulu. If you've not seen it, they make their own versions of a similar dish or theme. They don't always agree, and when they don't, it's splendid. It should be required viewing for anyone who.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:55 PM on January 24 [15 favorites]


One of my favorite dishes to prepare, and it's nuts how effortlessly he does it. Also nuts: Pepin's chickeny hands all over everything. That chicken-juice-soaked towel isn't helping!
posted by jason_steakums at 4:55 PM on January 24 [3 favorites]


I just received his "Essential Pepin" book for Christmas, and I'm really enjoying it. He has a way of making even complicated French classics simple and approachable, and the book is also full of simple things that I haven't seen anywhere else that look really great. There was a PBS series that went along with the book, which I've seen all of, and it's excellent.
posted by dnash at 5:05 PM on January 24


I've been a vegetarian for half my life, and I could watch this ten times in a row. He's always so effortless and efficient, and clearly knows every inch of that animal.
posted by nevercalm at 5:07 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


Dude has some kind of GMO easy-peel chickens!
posted by KathrynT at 5:09 PM on January 24 [7 favorites]


Oh man, Pepin really helped me get over my biggest hurdle when cooking - being to hesitant and delicate like I was working with pure nitroglycerin. Once you get enough technique down you can be a little rough with your ingredients, slap em around a bit, show em who's boss, all in less time.
posted by The Whelk at 5:13 PM on January 24 [6 favorites]


That was awesome. I have to try this, but I anticipate it will end up with chicken skin on the roof.

I saw Jacques Pepin Make An Omelette on the NYTimes and I was flabbergasted. I opted to make an omlette twice a week until I could make it like him....

Its a year later and I'm still not even close, but its been fun!
posted by cacofonie at 5:13 PM on January 24 [10 favorites]


They don't always agree, and when they don't, it's splendid.

Isn't it?! There's a reason that this video compilation of them disagreeing is titled Series Highlights.

(It played in the background as I finished typing and I've already laughed out loud once.)
posted by Elsa at 5:15 PM on January 24 [16 favorites]


Isn't it?! There's a reason that this video compilation of them disagreeing is titled Series Highlights yt .

That was wonderful!

The very first one where Julia randomly pulls out a pistol, I thought things were going to get out of hand very quickly!
posted by cacofonie at 5:20 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


That was strangely mesmerizing.
posted by grouse at 5:21 PM on January 24


Also learning how to make a hollandaise the Jaques way directly over a flame instead of in a double boiler (or gasp blender) is truly awesome. It's fast and easy once you get the feel for it.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 5:23 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


That was strangely mesmerizing.

Whenever I see a chef pull a whole carcass apart with that bland efficiency, or when I see a hunter or butcher remove a skin whole so that it looks like a tiny jacket – and that's exactly what that deboned chicken looks like to me when he holds it up and waggles it, a jacket made of chicken and just the right size to put on a doll or a, y'know, chicken – I find myself thinking butcherly anatomical thoughts about just how loosely my body is put together.
posted by Elsa at 5:24 PM on January 24 [9 favorites]


Thanks for that omelette video, cacofonie! My 6yo and I just watched it with rapt attention.
posted by Songdog at 5:24 PM on January 24


My parents are both more of the Pepin generation than the Julia Child generation, so reading any of his cookbooks or watching any of his shows is like a journey back to the food of my childhood, including my parents' specific prep methods.

(I don't think I ever saw either of them do this, though.)
posted by Sara C. at 5:25 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


I saw Jacques Pepin Make An Omelette on the NYTimes and I was flabbergasted.

Me too! The way dude was all up in that nonstick pan with a friggin fork??? This is technique? He must have a closetful of new pans and swap them out every few weeks or so.
posted by nevercalm at 5:26 PM on January 24 [10 favorites]


He wipes raw egg off his hands with a towel and then puts his hands in a saltcellar. And everything else.
posted by grouse at 5:32 PM on January 24 [3 favorites]


... dude was all up in that nonstick pan with a friggin fork???

Glad to hear it wasn't just me.
posted by Songdog at 5:33 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


I learned how to do this from this video about two years ago. Seriously, if you are hesitating, just try it. It is easier than you think. If you don't want to roast a ton of chickens, butcher the carcass into easier to use parts after. The practice will boost your confidence and, when it comes time to roast a chicken, you will marvel at how it evens out the cooking time and makes carving soooo awesome. DO IT!
posted by Foam Pants at 5:38 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


He wipes raw egg off his hands with a towel and then puts his hands in a saltcellar. And everything else.

Every time I watch him cook chicken, I have to keep telling myself "It's a TV kitchen it's a TV kitchen it's a TV kitchen" to get my attention off the chickeny pepper ramekin.

I can make allowances for the kitchen towel: Okay, so you need the towel to grab those slippery, pointy chicken bones and it's going straight into a hot wash. Sure. I can even pretend the salt cellar doesn't bother me; so maybe his staff throws out the rest of that small dish of salt at a cost of, like, ten cents.

But somehow I cannot pretend to myself that they're throwing out a whole dish of fresh ground pepper.
posted by Elsa at 5:38 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


No love for the Whizbang? Having used a tailgate as a table to pull feathers from a few scalded turkeys, I can attest to the change-my-life-boom nature of a plucker. Viva good tools!
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:43 PM on January 24


Man that looks like a lot of work. The chicken isn't even cooked yet! Jesus christ what does a man have to do to get something to eat these days. Now nachos, on the other hand. That's how decent people are supposed to live.
posted by tracert at 5:47 PM on January 24 [3 favorites]


I grew up watching him and watching Julia and I'm pretty sure that's why I'm usually in the "it's fine, eat it" camp.

...though, me, I wash my hands and use different cutting boards and other basic anti-cross-contamination practices, because I'd feel like an asshole if anyone got sick because I was lazy in the kitchen.

Still, he and Julia are both in my pantheon.
posted by rtha at 5:48 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


We just watched Jacques Pepin guesting on Top Chef, teaching all the contestants how to prepare a fish. Including removing the skin, which was literally a tiny cut to get it started near the tail and then one big strong pull. Totally freaky. Kind of a shame too, fish skin is pretty yummy if it's the right kind of fish.

One thing fun about watching my TV girlfriend Anne Burrell is she's an absolute fiend about kitchen hygiene on her show. Every couple of minutes she's washing her hands, and always comments about it. It's a pretty perfunctory wash, but she's definitely reminding home chefs about it. OTOH I think food safety issues in the US are pretty overblown. A little chicken blood in a salt cellar isn't going to give everyone deadly salmonella, although it does make the salt kinda icky.
posted by Nelson at 5:49 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


Oh, pish, Pepin is 78 and still going strong. Chicken-y germs that would kill a gross of Chuck Norris vanish into nothingness by sheer force of his radiance.

Don't forget, this is the guy who stared down Julia Child on washing chickens, which is way more unhygienic than anything he's doing there (assuming the towel gets washed and the extra spices used on other cooked dishes that session or thrown away).
posted by maudlin at 5:50 PM on January 24 [6 favorites]


I am trying to imagine just how thick the layers of frantically flung chicken bits would be on my kitchen walls and ceiling if I were to try to follow along

I am also trying very hard to stop imagining this moment as him holding up that particular character from Dr. Who you know the one I mean and then flopping her facedown so he can effortlessly separate her remaining fillets from her carcass by sliding his thumb along the bone
posted by ook at 5:53 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


well that turned unexpectedly grim on me sorry
posted by ook at 5:54 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


AHHHH ZOE WANAMAKER NO
posted by Elsa at 5:55 PM on January 24 [3 favorites]


Don't forget, this is the guy who stared down Julia Child on washing chickens

maudlin, footage of the exchange quoted in that article is included in the compilation I linked up-thread, and it is adorable. not only does he directly nay-say her; he does it with a twinkle.

Gah, I love watching these two.
posted by Elsa at 5:57 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


Yes, I should have added that it was a totally adorable staring down. (And thanks for the link: am watching now!)
posted by maudlin at 6:01 PM on January 24


Julia: Remember to wash your chicken in hot water.
Jacques: Wash the chicken? *looking horrified*
Julia: Well, I know you in France are less worried about things.
Jacques: Well you know, I live in connecticut.
Jacques: You are going to bake for an hour in a 400 degree oven. I feel like if any bacteria survive that then they deserve to live!
posted by cacofonie at 6:03 PM on January 24 [35 favorites]


It's really beautiful to see so many years of practice in action.
posted by rtha at 6:06 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


I don't think Pépin has been on TV quite long enough to have been part of my, ahem, coming-of-age, but his combination of kitchen skill and grace, insouciance, that twinkle in his eye, and (let's not kid ourselves) his accent made quite an impression on me nonetheless.

Enough of an impression that I still get a little giggly over how he pronounces "just gently," for example.

And enough of an impression so that seconds later when he says "I still like it quite creamy in the center," I belted out "YEAH YOU DO."
posted by Elsa at 6:07 PM on January 24 [10 favorites]


Learned how to do that in cooking school, but it took about four times as long and didn't look nearly so good when it was done. Don't know if I could do it now.

He is my hero.
posted by briank at 6:26 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


I always wondered where exactly those "chicken tender" cuts with the sinew in the center came from.
posted by XMLicious at 6:26 PM on January 24


I would like to see how fast Pepin could debone a whole chicken if he didn't stop to explain things.
posted by grouse at 6:30 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


I predict that my iPad will end up with great big chickeny finger prints all over the screen
posted by mattoxic at 6:34 PM on January 24 [4 favorites]


Put your iPad in a gallon resealable freezer bag. It's thin enough that the touchscreen will still work, and protects it from raw chicken or other spills and splatters.
posted by grouse at 6:36 PM on January 24 [10 favorites]


Me too! The way dude was all up in that nonstick pan with a friggin fork??? This is technique? He must have a closetful of new pans and swap them out every few weeks or so.


Or, you know, expensive pans that are scratch-resistant. But go ahead and tell us how awful "dude" is some more.
posted by Celsius1414 at 6:36 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


Jacques: You are going to bake for an hour in a 400 degree oven. I feel like if any bacteria survive that then they deserve to live!

Yes, but those aren't the bacteria you have to worry about. It's the salmonella on the cutting board and counter top, where you are going to make that potato salad that you leave in the fridge for a week. Bleach is your friend. Great video, growabrain.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 6:37 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


Poulet en saucisse, eh? Sausaged chicken.

Man, I remember having a new baby and improvising to wash it in the kitchen sink (we were so broke) - found myself unable to handle a whole raw chicken for quite some time.
posted by glasseyes at 6:37 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


I would like to see how fast Pepin could debone a whole chicken if he didn't stop to explain things.

And then another one where all he does is explain, doesn't touch the chicken at all, and the chicken still ends up boneless somehow due to the sheer force of his charisma.
posted by this is a thing at 6:38 PM on January 24 [10 favorites]


Grouse, Martin Yan can do it in 18 seconds. (Starts around 4:40.)
posted by mudpuppie at 6:38 PM on January 24 [3 favorites]


Or, you know, expensive pans that are scratch-resistant. But go ahead and tell us how awful "dude" is some more.

The youtube video of him doing the omelette (from the same series as the chicken video) has 1800+ comments, mostly about the fork.
posted by maledictory at 6:40 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


This sort of thing is just infinitely better than all of those silly cooking reality shows currently on TV with their contrived contests, ranting presenters and utter disrespect for decent food.
posted by islander at 6:42 PM on January 24 [3 favorites]


I've done this! The galantine is a little easier than the Ballantine, I think, because you don't have to debone the chicken in one piece, just get the skin off whole. I had this video on repeat the whole time I first tried it.

The galantine was part of our Christmas party and it has definitely been my proudest moment in the kitchen so far. I think it took me 5 hours or more, start to finish. It's a very impressive piece to behold on the plate.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:43 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


I'm going to show the video of Jacques making the omelette to my husband and point out that you CAN use metal utensils in nonstick pans if you have amazing technique. Which I do.

Man, I remember having a new baby and improvising to wash it in the kitchen sink
Wait - is there another way to wash new babies? Bathtub is too big, bathroom sink is too small. Give it a good scrub and fill it with warm soapy water. What else do people do? My experience is 10 years ago, but it was how newborns had been washed as long as anybody in mine or my husband's family could remember.

posted by jeoc at 6:55 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


Just don't remove the skin and debone that baby and I think you're fine.
posted by The Whelk at 7:07 PM on January 24 [11 favorites]


The youtube video of him doing the omelette (from the same series as the chicken video) has 1800+ comments, mostly about the fork.

They can just use a pair of chopsticks and call it a day. (The rice omelette scene from Tampopo.)
posted by Bokmakierie at 7:21 PM on January 24


I absolutely loved that technique. I kind of hack my way through when working with a whole chicken.

But the wife and I will always watch Pepin on the weekends. He has very Zen moments of calm which make for a nice break....at least for 30 minutes.
posted by Benway at 7:36 PM on January 24


I couldn't help thinking that probably, Pepin could dispose of a body really quick.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:38 PM on January 24 [14 favorites]


I also like doing this with chicken leg quarters - super cheap and you can put different fillings in each one at the diner's request. And fill them with a sausage stuffer!
posted by jason_steakums at 7:44 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


I've never tried this but I have done the butterflied chicken with mustard crust. So good. I put the mustard mixture on pork roasts too.

I got Techniques for Christmas. I want to try caramel snow eggs.

I could see my husband wanted to try the deboning. He made omelets almost every day for a couple of months after watching Julie and Julia.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:45 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


Never seen this before, thanks!
We just did something similar last week in school. But we had to do all the "proper" cuts on the chicken, isolating the breasts and filets, butterflying one and doing a Suprème of the other, then making a farce and stuffing the (completely de-boned and de-sinewed) leg as a Ballontine. I wish I'd seen this first, I'd have tried it and either impressed or gotten a zero.
posted by chococat at 7:48 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


I couldn't help thinking that probably, Pepin could dispose of a body really quick.

Was thinking the same thing. Lucky for us, he decided to direct his talent for elegantly dismantling bodies towards cooking and didn't become some sort of Dexter villain.
posted by Telf at 7:48 PM on January 24


...you CAN use metal utensils in nonstick pans if you have amazing technique a merchandizing deal that provides more cheap nonstick pans than you can shake a fork at.

FTFY. ;)
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:49 PM on January 24


That was art. I love watching someone do something they are highly skilled at. It's a joy.
posted by MrBobaFett at 7:55 PM on January 24 [8 favorites]


I couldn't help thinking that probably, Pepin could dispose of a body really quick.

And nobody was smart enough to gift him with a membership years ago when he could have shown us.

(Holy crap, that thread and scarabic's perfect answer will be ten years old soon. Old now.)
posted by maudlin at 7:55 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


Despite decades of cooking scratch meals, I have only once managed to precisely cut through the joint between a chicken leg and thigh. I was so astonished at how easily the knife parted the joint and how clean the cut was that I called my SO over and we both marveled at it for several minutes. I still feel like I should have taken a photo of that leg, it was that magical.
posted by jamaro at 8:22 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


..I may make this next week with a liver and vegetable stuffing, I've got a bunch of frozen livers leftover and breaking bones with my bare hands is one of my favorite parts of cooking.
posted by The Whelk at 8:38 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


The part where you thwack the end joint on the leg to break it with the back of your knife is the best.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:47 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


...and of course what's a good dish or serve a salad while it roasts, or more finger foods first and then a parsnip puree, do they still have chestnuts at the market? and wine , but that should be easy it should be paired with the stuffing deserts are always tricky ...nothing heavy and no one is eating bread anymore but fruit pudding feels like cheating hmmm what would Hannibal do? ...besides that unless it came to that
posted by The Whelk at 8:48 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


The part where you thwack the end joint on the leg to break it with the back of your knife is the best.

Oh, let's play Jeopardy: What is best in life?
posted by maudlin at 8:51 PM on January 24 [3 favorites]


Very helpful; not only in a culinary way, but I'm pretty sure I now know how they made the Eraserhead baby.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:35 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


Another take on the theme: Whole Cow Processed in under 12 minutes!
posted by carsonb at 10:14 PM on January 24


Also learning how to make a hollandaise the Jaques way directly over a flame instead of in a double boiler (or gasp blender) is truly awesome. It's fast and easy once you get the feel for it.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 7:23 PM on January 24 [2 favorite +]


You're right! That's exactly how he does it.
posted by marsha56 at 10:29 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


I love this guy, but that is not how omelettes are supposed to be.
posted by koeselitz at 10:31 PM on January 24


I saw Mario Batalli defend himself against the same criticism re: chicken hands and a salt bowl. His explanation was that a bowl of salt is not going to promote salmonella growth.
posted by nestor_makhno at 10:49 PM on January 24


His explanation was that a bowl of salt is not going to promote salmonella growth.

As I was typing my comment up-thread, I thought about how resistant salt might be to bacterial growth and realized that's probably why my unexamined anxiety centered on the pepper.

But also, as I said above, I know that's a TV kitchen, not a restaurant kitchen or even a home kitchen. They're focused on speed and efficient presentation of the information and entertainment, not on keeping the area clean for a whole day's production of dishes for the public or of one entire meal for a household. When I cook meat, I think about cross-contamination, but if I had a whole production staff who were going to step in and reset (and probably clean) my work area before the next shot, I wouldn't.

And I notice in his "Fast Food My Way" episodes, where he multi-tasks making complete meals (for example), he keeps the chicken & tools much more contained.
posted by Elsa at 11:13 PM on January 24


I love this guy, but that is not how omelettes are supposed to be.

the country or the classic? Cause, sans fillings, they look every every decent omelette I've ever made/eaten.
posted by The Whelk at 11:18 PM on January 24


Honestly I couldn't care less about germs. My personal objection to sticking chicken-coated hands in the salt cellar is that I really, really don't want tomorrow night's sea salt caramel soufflé to taste vaguely of poultry.

I'm sure they're TV kitchens, though, like Elsa says.
posted by koeselitz at 11:18 PM on January 24


(And omelettes should be browned a tiny bit. Also I can't stand when the middle is wet. But we're deep into subjective territory here, I know...)
posted by koeselitz at 11:21 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


(well yeah are we talking strict adherence to the guidelines or just...I don't like overly wet eggs? I for one, have never bothered with making a consomme cause life is too short.)
posted by The Whelk at 11:23 PM on January 24


Wow, thanks for the link - total "oh yeah" moment.

Use the back of the knife to break the lower leg bone at the ankle.

I came up with all the other techniques through trial and error followed by rational design based on anatomy. Always had a problem with sinew central just above the ankles. Never thought that the better solution was to break the bone above the ankle and yank it out through the inside-out.
posted by porpoise at 11:34 PM on January 24


I want to do this with cornish hens, with fruit stuffing and a glaze. Ooh or like an inside-out chicken tagine!
posted by jason_steakums at 11:45 PM on January 24


Tagine-stuffed deboned cornish hens cooked low and slow IN a tagine. TAGINCEPTION
posted by jason_steakums at 11:46 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


baveuse. That is how the inside of an omellete should look.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 12:33 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


I love this video almost as much as the delicious results. I tried it myself over Christmas, and despite my inexperience and terrible tools, Jacques helped me through to a tasty conclusion.
posted by mnfn at 2:55 AM on January 25


Chicken lollipops! Wing Night at the local pub has just become sadly inadequate.
posted by Suggestive_Bobcat at 2:58 AM on January 25


Oh man I'm going to do the omelette thing now.
posted by empath at 4:03 AM on January 25


I think I read somewhere (his memoirs?) a quote from him that if he hadn't been a chef he would have liked to have been a surgeon. You can definitely see that in this video.
posted by Cocodrillo at 5:04 AM on January 25


or more finger foods first and then a parsnip puree

I pretty much always serve chicken at home with parsnip puree. Match made in heaven.

I love this guy, but that is not how omelettes are supposed to be.

At a wild-ass guess, Pepin probably knows a little more about the standards of French cuisine. A proper French omelette has no colouring on it anywhere. North Americans like eggs overcooked for some reason.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:42 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


The day I stopped overcooking eggs, well, I'm sure there's a better word than transcendent, but I'm going to just leave it at that.
posted by Jazz Hands at 6:01 AM on January 25


Nelson: "One thing fun about watching my TV girlfriend Anne Burrell "

Hey. Back off!
posted by Splunge at 6:10 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


I've deboned many chickens after viewing that video, and have come to get pretty damn fast at it. Deboned legs and thighs are much , much more pleasant to eat, for the lack of stringy bits and ability to cut with a fork and knife.

My favourite chicken bit for the last while:
- Debone your chicken ala Pepin
- Keep the leg and thigh together and separate from the rest of the chicken. Leave a good flap of skin on the thigh. You need to do this from a whole chicken to get the right bit of skin. Plus the rest of the chicken has lots of tasty uses.
- Wrap that loose skin over the exposed meat, salt, and vac-pac. You could brine instead of salt, possibly using a flavoured brine.
- Sous-vide at 65C for 2-3 hours
- Cool some. Or completely. Whatever.
- When ready to serve, deep fry at 400 C for 3 or 4 min (until nicely browned). Note it will spit violently.
- Sprinkle with cayenne or pepper

This gives an incredibly tasty, succulent leg/thigh with a super crispy skin. The deboning a) makes it very pleasant to eat, b) impresses your guests and c) Prevents the red-colouring you get around the bone when you sous-vide like this.

Everyone who has had it has declared it the best chicken leg ever. (Based on a recipe from Modernist Cuisine)
posted by Bovine Love at 6:47 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


Also, while preparing it, fry up those lollipops and serve them to whoever is around! Sometimes I grab the tenders, bread them with panko and have them as a snack too while prepping the chicken.
posted by Bovine Love at 6:49 AM on January 25


cacofonie: I saw Jacques Pepin Make An Omelette on the NYTimes and I was flabbergasted. I opted to make an omlette twice a week until I could make it like him....

Its a year later and I'm still not even close, but its been fun!


I have a carbon steel omelette pan I use for this, and I've found that there are several things that are important. First, you have to match the number of eggs to the size of the pan. My pan is a three egg pan. It doesn't do as well with two eggs or four eggs. Second, you have to use high heat if you want to get a nice lacy texture. Third, use a non-browning fat, and plenty of it. I use clarified butter usually. Fourth work fast, fast fast! It takes less than 60 seconds to make a French omelette. And finally, deemphasize fillings. Herbs and even little pieces of meat should be incorporated into the beaten eggs, and anything sticky like cheese should be used in a reasonably small amount and tossed in at the very end just as you are turning it out.

I highly recommend a dedicated carbon steel omelette pan (not just a small carbon steel frypan -- an specially shaped omelette pan), especially if you are using it several times a week. It is, in my experience, impossible to match with a nonstick surface.

never calm: The way dude was all up in that nonstick pan with a friggin fork??? This is technique? He must have a closetful of new pans and swap them out every few weeks or so.

There are plenty of things he did that don't necessarily bode well for the long-term survival of a nonstick surface. But who cares? Those pans aren't meant to last forever. There is a whole philosophy of nonstick pans -- one to which I subscribe -- that you simply buy cheap, beat on them as much as you want, and replace them when they don't work anymore.
posted by slkinsey at 6:57 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


So I'm right to assume that this works exactly the same with Cornish Game Hens? (this is so awesome, btw. thanks for sharing. so excited to give it a try!)
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:25 AM on January 25


Yeah, basically every bird can be disassembled the same way.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:26 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


Pepin is a master Jedi ninja of deliciousness.
posted by Neekee at 7:29 AM on January 25


There is a whole philosophy of nonstick pans -- one to which I subscribe -- that you simply buy cheap, beat on them as much as you want, and replace them when they don't work anymore.

That's cool and all, and I know that the chemical company that produces that nonstick coating assures us that consuming the flakes of nonstick coating that result from things like using forks and scratching the surface are perfectly safe. And seeing as how those chemical companies are paragons of truthfulness, perhaps I shouldn't worry.

I love this man and admire his technique. I even cooked with him once while prepping food for a show. But people who do not know any better will ape everything a chef on television does (and he is not a tv chef, merely a chef who appears on tv...there's definitely a difference), so stupid things like a fork in a teflon pan actually does do some damage.

I also know about tv kitchens, I've worked in them. I've also worked with the best chefs in the world in those kitchens, and I think that the ones who blithely handle chicken and then touch everything in the kitchen because they have a crew to clean it are being irresponsible for the same reason as above...they are there to teach, and part of the lesson is not contaminating everything you touch with something that can sicken and kill people. Yes, those bacteria won't survive a 400 deg oven, but they will definitely live everywhere else you put your filthy hands.

But again, this is quibbling over small potatoes and I didn't intend the derail. Pepin is in a class all his own. I admire him and I definitely feel that my own love of cooking as a USian today could be traced directly back to both him and Julia Child.
posted by nevercalm at 7:49 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


This video has been played a lot over the holidays at our house. We've started deboning our turkeys and stuffing them with sausage and pistachios (recipe in Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home). We call it turporkey and it is glorious.
posted by rebeccabeagle at 7:58 AM on January 25


That's cool and all, and I know that the chemical company that produces that nonstick coating assures us that consuming the flakes of nonstick coating that result from things like using forks and scratching the surface are perfectly safe. And seeing as how those chemical companies are paragons of truthfulness, perhaps I shouldn't worry.

They make permanent medical devices out of PTFE.
posted by slkinsey at 8:10 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


Tagine-stuffed deboned cornish hens cooked low and slow IN a tagine. TAGINCEPTION

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posted by dnash at 8:21 AM on January 25


PTFE is indeed ridiculously innert, I doubt ingesting tiny flakes of it would be dangerous. I don't know if they are using some sort of adhesive to make it stick to the pan though, that might be not as harmless.
posted by Dr Dracator at 8:28 AM on January 25


Deboned legs and thighs are much , much more pleasant to eat, for the lack of stringy bits and ability to cut with a fork and knife.

Ah but then you miss out on crunching the leg bones in your jaw ans sucking out the marrow.


What?
posted by The Whelk at 8:40 AM on January 25


I don't know if they are using some sort of adhesive to make it stick to the pan though, that might be not as harmless.

It's usually attached mechanically. It can outgas at high temperatures, though, and kill your birds. Mostly it's just a rip-off that needs special (generally crappier) tools and care and still won't last decades like stainless steel and cast iron.

(And don't get me started on those damn glass-top stoves)
posted by dirigibleman at 9:13 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


In the Martin Yan breaking down a chicken in 18 seconds he mentions that he picked up a technique from Pepin on relaxing a chicken carcass. Between Youtube and TvTropes.org I get nothing done in my day!
posted by jadepearl at 11:12 AM on January 25


It [PTFE] can outgas at high temperatures, though, and kill your birds.

It doesn't outgas, per se. Outgassing is when a solid or liquid releases a gas that was dissolved or trapped within it. So, for example, an open bottle of seltzer outgasses carbon dioxide. When PTFE is subjected to temperatures that are too high, it sheds micro-fine particles (not gas) into the air. Due to the way their respiratory systems work, birds can get clogged up with these particles and die from asphyxiation. The same thing would happen to a bird in any environment where there were a lot of super-fine particles in the air (e.g., I wouldn't take a parrot into an operating flour mill).
posted by slkinsey at 11:47 AM on January 25 [3 favorites]


That reminds me a lot of that video where the guy basically does that to a dinosaur carcass with a machete. Especially the part where you end up with like a dino suit at the end. I could never see quite how stomping got the drumsticks done but seeing it on a smaller scale it makes sense now.
posted by bigbigdog at 1:14 PM on January 25


Amazing! I have questions, if I were ever to make this. How long would it need in the oven, and what temperature? Also, how would you carve the chicken? Like normal, or like a stuffed little loaf? I'd like to see that part too, now that I think of it... Where's the ending!
posted by to recite so charmingly at 3:09 PM on January 25


Yes, the best way is to just slice through. It's stuffed, after all, so you want a bit of everything.

In the oven, I'd guess around 1/2 hr @350F/175C depending on how hefty your initial bird is. (You could also go for a lower temperature for longer, say 175-300 for an hour or so). Make sure to ear nicely in a pan first to help the skin get crispy. You're done when the internal temperature--in the centre, because the stuffing needs to be thoroughly cooked through--is 155F. Remove from oven, rest on a wire pan tented with tinfoil for 10-15 min to rest, blast under broiler to re-crisp skin.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:20 PM on January 25 [1 favorite]


Here's mine. It was pretty easy and very tasty. I did not season the chicken that much because I assumed it would pull flavor in from the stuffing, so it was a little bland. Next time I'll do a rub of some dried herbs or something on the outside.

I'm definitely going to run this back though.
posted by Aizkolari at 6:13 PM on January 25


He's such a charmer. Such a matter-of-fact poise. You just enjoy his magnificent competence.
posted by Trochanter at 6:42 PM on January 25


Wonderful. I followed a bunch of YouTube links and watched other chefs deboning chickens as well. A lot more knife work, a lot more waste, and no faster in the end.
posted by bink at 7:20 PM on January 25


So entertaining to watch someone do just about anything competently, and Monsieur Pepin is a complete master. I also remember being amazed at his demonstration of different chicken trussing techniques (briefly looked for it on YT in order to post it in the thread but couldn't find it). I never knew there were so many ways of doing it, and he did it so quickly and effortlessly. It's all muscle memory for him by now.
posted by Devils Slide at 8:22 PM on January 25


Put your iPad in a gallon resealable freezer bag. It's thin enough that the touchscreen will still work, and protects it from raw chicken or other spills and splatters.
posted by grouse


Also works for reading in the bathtub.
posted by HMSSM at 8:33 PM on January 25


Mr. Pepin started kitchen work when he was fourteen, so please understand that what he does, he can do in his sleep after 60+ years, so yeah, it looks easy when he does it.

Also, to sanitation; he's not working on anything but chicken in that station. The salt is in a portion bowl, the pepper is in a portion bowl, that's a chicken towel, and that's a chicken board. The knives will be washed before he goes to anything else, etc. The stuffing came in from elsewhere and went directly into the chicken. I'm sure the leftover bit with the chicken-y spoon either goes into the next chicken or the garbage. The piece of twine he uses gets touched and then separated by a knife from the spool.

He is supremely aware of everything, and that's what makes him Kitchen God. It's great, isn't it?
posted by halfbuckaroo at 5:39 AM on January 26 [8 favorites]


Yeah, I was thinking about that, too. It's not like he's taking apart a chicken and also making a salad and also peeling an orange.

I think if I were to actually do this at home, I would probably devote myself to just this particular task, then clean up, then go on to the next part of meal prep.

It is unlikely that I would completely contaminate my kitchen with chicken goo and just leave it that way. For one thing, it's not like the chicken goo is invisible or imperceptible. It would be pretty gross to just be like, "yup, I guess this kitchen is completely covered with schmaltz forever, now..."
posted by Sara C. at 12:43 PM on January 26


I love roasted chicken, but geez, getting my "mess in place" assembled up front is a royal pain, and even so I inevitably end up washing my hands several times during prep because there's always one, more, thing, I need to do with clean hands. But the result (and the eventual stock) makes it all worthwhile.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:18 PM on January 26


Tbh, I think all the fear about salmonella is way over blown. 1 in 50 people are exposed to it yearly. Most don't get sick. Some people get diarrhea. A few dozen old or young or immuno-compromised people die from it. If you're reasonably careful, you should be fine. You don't need to hose your kitchen down with bleach every time you cook chicken and you can eat runny/raw eggs.

It's more important to be careful in a restaurant where you have the potential to sicken a lot of people than it is at home if you're cooking for a couple of healthy adults. (Or if you're cooking for infants or the elderly).
posted by empath at 2:33 PM on January 26 [4 favorites]


I'm halfway through his memoir, which has been hanging out on my kindle for a while, and I started it thanks to this thread. It's marvelous. When he started working at Howard Johnson's, he and his team deboned 1500 turkeys a day - that's a lot of practice. I have no doubt that, given a sharp enough knife, he could bone out a chicken blindfolded (him, not the chicken).
posted by rtha at 3:07 PM on January 26 [1 favorite]


empath: "Tbh, I think all the fear about salmonella is way over blown. 1 in 50 people are exposed to it yearly. Most don't get sick. Some people get diarrhea. A few dozen old or young or immuno-compromised people die from it. If you're reasonably careful, you should be fine."

While I agree that concerns about salmonella are overblown, your data is way off.

EVERY single human on earth is exposed to it. It's in our digestive tracts, naturally.

Hundreds to thousands of Americans are sickened by it each year. Some few get very sick, and a very few die. Out of a nation of hundreds of millions, that's pretty minimal - but much more than you imagined.

Source.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:24 PM on January 29


I have just done this, and now it's in the oven. If I die of salmonella poisoning, please distribute my favorites to those in need.
posted by Dr Dracator at 2:12 AM on January 30 [4 favorites]


Are you dead? Was it delicious?
posted by rtha at 12:16 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]


More importantly it's time to talk about the method for distributing those favorites.
posted by grouse at 1:09 PM on January 30 [2 favorites]


I LIVE
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:50 PM on January 30 [6 favorites]


(And I'm full of spinachy chicken goodness)
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:50 PM on January 30 [2 favorites]


So... I should probably put these favorites back where I got them...

... sulk.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:00 PM on January 31


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