To Skin A Cat

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To Skin A Cat : Phrases


A technique for doing something.


My neighbor kept trying to tell me how to cut down the tree to the point of irritation. When I told him there was many ways to
skin a cat he finally got the message.


The full phrase is
to skin a catfish.

This refers to removing the very tough skin from the delicate flesh of a catfish. There are many ways to skin a catfish and all were initially developed through trial and error in attempt to find the best way to remove the skin without tearing the edible flesh into smaller bits and chunks. Like most fish, an intact one-piece half-fish fillet of catfish is most desirable for cooking (battered, breaded, and pan fried). To obtain such catfish fillets, takes knack and technique.

One way to skin a catfish is to slice the belly, de-gut it and place it belly-down on a wooden cutting board. Stick an ice-pick through the top of its head into the cutting board (essentially nailing its head to the board).

Make a cut with a very sharp knife, below the ice-pick, over the spine, just below the head of the fish. This cut must go just through the skin, not into the flesh.

With the aid of the knife, separate the skin from the flesh on the body side of the cut and pull the skin toward the tail. If done properly, the skin should peel off cleanly from the flesh and separate the tail from the flesh also.

Chop the fish head off and you have two intact fillets connected by a ribcage.

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