Dear Alton Brown,
I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to you for showing the world how to butcher a whole chicken. For a few reasons, I like to buy a whole chicken instead of just the parts. For one, that carcass makes for a tasty stock, and I do enjoy a good bowl of homemade chicken soup. For another, I’m sure you realize the price per pound is more like a couple of dollars after the butchers do all that work for you. I know you shop at Publix — you can black out the name of the store all you want, I know what their herbs, milk, etc. look like — so I know you know boneless skinless chicken breast can go for $3.99/lb, whereas a whole chicken goes for about $1.29/lb. I’d say that’s a pretty steep up-charge for letting the guys behind the counter do the messy work for me.
Now I admit it was a little tricky at first. I’ve never used your techniques before, so you do mention that it takes some practice. However, it went smoothly after I got a bit more confident. That second drumstick and thigh? Came apart just like you said. Now I can buy whole chickens year-round, knowing I won’t have to turn the oven on just to cook the whole darn thing! Tonight, I’m able to cook the dark meat with some root vegetables. Tomorrow, I can turn my boneless skinless white meat into a delicious stir fry. And on top of the stove, I’ve tossed the carcass and a mirepoix into a pot of water to boil down into a stock. Thanks again for taking the guess work out of butchering up a very versatile meat! You’re the best!
P.S. By the way, you also gave me the courage to chop my own garlic. And you shared a great recipe that can sometimes keep the boxes of brownie mix out of the house — I say sometimes because sometimes when Publix has the buy one get one free deals on Ghiradelli, I can’t resist the unmentionable ingredients. Hey, we’ve all got our guilty pleasures, don’t we?