Butchers are skilled craftsmen when it comes to anything meat-related, but their expertise is often underused. Most are more than willing to help you with your meal prep needs, and all you have to do is ask.
Photo by Chris Isherwood
Generally, butchers want you to ask them questions. Tell them what you're planning on making and see if they have any tips or suggestions. They may have a recommendation that makes your recipe even better. They also know exactly what they're doing when prepping meat and poultry, and Oliver Strand at GQ and Yahoo! Food suggests using their skills to the max:
...any trimming, trussing, boning, or other custom cutting you ask a butcher to do is included in the price of the meat. You can get anything cut to order (those steaks and roasts sitting in the display case are only a teaser -- there's plenty more in the back) at no extra cost. Request veal cutlets for schnitzel, for instance, and he'll pound them paper-thin -- some butchers will even season and bread them for you. Get a whole chicken and you can have it trussed or quartered or boned.
So, if you don't know how to bone a chicken or want your meat of choice cut into chunks for stew, just ask!
How to Get the Most Out of Your Butcher [Yahoo! Food]