By John Maniatty
First, catch yourself a chicken!
Next, put your chicken in your killing cone head first.
Pull the head out through the end of the cone.
And then cut the artery just below the jaw line.
And let your bird bleed out until...
it has expired.
Have your scalding tank between 140˚ F. and 150˚ F.
Dunk your bird, swishing it around to agitate the water.
Between the agitating and the dish detergent I put in the water,
the water penetrates to the feather follicle allowing for easier feather removal.
A quick dunk in cold water to prevent the skin from tearing when plucked.
For $50 a weekend, I rented this plucker.
However I've done hundreds of birds by hand (and thousands with a plucker!).
A handful of tail feathers.
Using the pinning knife to pluck the last few feathers.
A table knife works just as well.
Next, I cut the head off with a pair of shears.
Now, grasp the neck and pull the skin down tightly.
Slit the skin on top of the neck from the backbone to the end of the neck.
Separate the neck from the windpipe and crop with your fingers.
Pull the crop and windpipe completely away from bird.
And then cut and discard.
Now, cut the neck off at backbone.
Next, cut the feet off at the leg joint.
You are just pressing your knife through cartilage, not cutting bone.
If you're cutting bone, your knife is not positioned correctly.
Now, carefully slit the body cavity and remove the vent.
Start from the side and cut horizontally encircling the vent and reconnecting with your cut line.
Start from the breast and cut vertically encircling the vent and reconnecting with your cut line.
Remove all the innards.
Take the liver and pull off the bile duct.
Do not break it or your bird will be stained green.
Be sure to remove all the lungs.
This tool, the lung scraper, really helps and is worth the effort to make one or purchase one.
Now take your gizzard and butterfly it open.
The gizzard is a muscle the birds use to grind up their food.
The chickens eat small stones that stay in the gizzard to act as grinding stones.
Notice the different stages of grinding the corn is in.
These are the stones I found in this gizzard.
Now peel your gizzard.
Just get underneath it and it will peel off quite nicely.
Clean, peeled and ready to use.
Now, take the socks off your chickens feet.
If they're not just slipping right off, re-scald them and then you can easily remove their socks.
Sliding right off.
All clean and ready to use.
Here's all the extra pieces.
Feet, Heads, Gizzards, and Hearts.
Scraping the birds body cavity for any leftovers...
Remove the glands by slitting the tail open and cutting them away.
See the yellow glands, they make the bird taste bad.
Or you can just cut the tail off like I do.
This bird is ready for a final trimming and cleaning before I cut it up.