Welcome to tonight's cooking lesson:
How to Break Down a Young Chicken for Soup in Ten Easy Steps
Start with a wondeful friend blessing you with a bunch of food when you are in a time of great need.
Realize that you have a whole, frozen Young Chicken you get to do something with other than fill up space in your freezer.
Decide that you are gonna do more than toss that thing in the oven.
Chicken and Dumplings call your name.
Ready, set: GO!
Step One: Thaw out the chicken in cold water in your sink. Wonder how much bleach you will need before you feel that the inside of your sink isn't covered in chicken juice.
Step Two: Call your Mom. Relax about the invisible chicken juice.
Step Three: Unwrap the chicken and fling it across the room to the other counter to begin the breakdown.....of the chicken. Not your personal breakdown because you are dealing with a raw chicken because YOU CAN DO THIS!
Step Four: Pull out your reliable Betty Crocker Cookbook and follow the easy pictures....
Step Four, Part Two: These are supposed to be easy, right?
Step Four, Part Three: Wait a minute, is this even a chicken I am looking at in the picture?
Step Four, Part Four: Bye Betty.
Step Five: Find your sharpest knife and just cut. Realize that you are TOTALLY doing this! But then, ack! You cut through a bone! (Seriously sharp, Cutco!) Is that okay?
Step Six: Call your Mom. Be assured that you are not poisoning your family by cutting through the bone of your chicken.
Step Seven: Check you out!! You have your chicken all cut up! Now you have to deal with the little bag on the inside and......oh my freaking gosh what is that?
Dear young chefs, it is at this point of the breakdown you will feel the need to reach out to a power that is higher than your mother. Because she does know a WHOLE LOT but your husband is really the one who SHOULD be doing this. He's owned goats once. He doesn't mess around when you bring home the Rotisserie Chicken from Price Club (and why didn't we use one of those? Oh yes, because we decided to grow as a person.) and just should be doing this. So you might send him a text message like this....
I need you home! I just cut up a whole chicken! And I didn't throw up. But I almost did. I don't know what parts are what and if I scream, the kids will want to come see!! I won't scream. But I want to. I can't do it this way again. I LOVE MY FAMILY!! (come home?)
And you might attach a picture like this.....
But HOLD FAST!
And then call your Mom. She will say things like, "This WILL taste good. This is totally going to turn out."
What you won't do is freak out because you ripped some of the bag that possibly is holding a former live chicken's neck or something. There are two thingy-s that might be a gizzard? Or a liver? Two livers?
Step Eight: Look at the chicken you have already cut and placed in your big pot....yeah that's probably enough. Toss the rest of that stuff and don't look back.
Step Nine: Clean up the chicken juice everywhere. Twice. Well, maybe three times just to be safe.
Step Ten: Call your Mom.