I’ve always enjoyed cutting fish and meats into their individual cuts. Something about the precision it takes to filet a whole salmon or tuna without sacrificing any of the precious meat and the skill required to properly clean a beef tenderloin excites my primal instincts I guess! It’s me, my knife and a huge slab of meat. The trick is to remove the unusable parts without damaging what lies beneath. In a restaurant, you need to be a pro at this. Many chefs will throw your butt out of the kitchen and relegate you to dish duty for ruining a tenderloin or if your filets are not exactly 8 oz’s! Meat cutting was also my favorite class in culinary school. Aside from the classroom being in a freezer it was awesome! If you’re squeemish when it comes to handling raw meat, use latex free gloves which are available at any grocery store. I always keep these on hand to use when working with any raw meat.
I’ve received a few requests on how to cut a whole chicken, and while I do pretty decent work, this video does a fantastic job of demonstrating this task. I always recommend buying a whole chicken and cutting it up yourself. It’s cheaper, allows you to practice your knife skills and you can use the bones for stock.
A dream of mine is to work in a butcher shop and refine my skills while also learning how to create artisan sausages. If anyone is looking for an intern in Atlanta I’m your man!
And one last thing. NEVER cut raw meat on a bamboo cutting board! When researching for this post I found a lot of people doing that. You can’t wash bamboo cutting boards in the dishwasher and they’re porous. Unless you enjoy getting salmonella or some other nasty food born illness then I suggest you get a plastic cutting board strictly for raw meats which can be cleaned in the dishwasher.