The French like to make things difficult on Americans by incorporating their cuisine into art. Ecorche means to filet (or skin, or remove the bones, as in fish, lots of translations apparently) and so when you do a study like this you are really just prepping for cooking. Eww.
On a side note, this is not the best exercise to learn to draw. I think this is a great exercise after you've learned the basics of construction...my drawings for a long time have suffered from too much knowledge and not enough basic construction.