Trussing a Chicken Tips & Techniques

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Learn how to truss a chicken for oven cooking in this free cooking video on how to prepare and cook chicken recipes.

Part of the Video Series: How to Prepare & Cook Chicken
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Video Transcript

Hi! I’m Louis Ortiz on behalf of Expert Village and today I’m going to show you how to truss a chicken. This will work for just about any birds if you will, game bird or otherwise and the idea behind trussing is that many times when you cook a bird in the oven the legs and the wings are kind of out there away from the main body and they tend to dry out throughout the cooking process by the time the whole thing is done. So by trussing we condense everything and compress it together upon itself so that you achieve a much more even cooking process and at the same time the outer portions which are the legs and the wings tend to stay a lot more moist and don’t dry out. So first and foremost this is a chicken with a breast of the keel bone of course facing up to the ceiling and we’re going to take the wings and kind of put them the same way you would behind your head actually if you were on a long chair or something. So we’re going to take these wings put them behind the bird like that just as like I said if you were to put your hands behind your head, so what I’m going to do is start on the butt end of the chicken with the legs and I just got some basic butchers twine here I want to have it even on both sides by the time we finish this guy. So I’m going to circle around the leg this way and let that hang and I’m going to come around here and circle around the leg this way, okay so I’m going to go back this direction on each side of the breast like that. Now the reason I like doing this is when you pull the slack up if you’ll notice you’re pulling the legs the drumsticks if you will in together and this will also allow you stuff the bird before hand, before you finish tying him off and still leave a little bit of an opening so that you get some ventilation through there. So the strings cross right up underneath the tip the keel bone this direction and we’ll turn him over, again you want to have equal lengths of string on each side and I’ll bring this around so that I keep the wings close to the body, so we made yet another X, so I pull together we’ll flip him back over and we can tie off this way. Now we can tie this way and we’ll have a string mark across the breast in the event that you want to decorate this in a certain way and when I say decorate you can reach up under the skin and place fresh herbs and things of that nature and if you want to leave it so that there’s no lines across the top all you have to do is come back around here and we’ll tie off the underneath side of the wings. As we pull this taught tie that tight okay, so now we leave the breast exposed that way so that we can use it for basting and there’s no string running across the top of it and as I pull these tight you’ll notice the legs are nice and closed into the body and the wings are nice and closed into the body and we’ll just snip that end off and we’ll cook the bird this way inside the pan the resting pan and if you will and that way again we’ll leave this open so that we can stuff it before we tie it off, so if we have the cavity open just a little bit that’ll allow some steam to generate on the inside of there and make sure that your stuffing and such whatever you choose to put on the inside of the bird will be done along with that. So that’s just the basic trussing system so that all the legs and the wings stayed compressed into the body to provide a more even cooking process.

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