Chicken Cutting Guide

Buying a whole bird is the most cost-effective way to purchase a chicken. Markets often run specials on whole chickens, so cutting them up yourself can mean real savings.  

Cutting a Whole Chicken

Cutting a whole chicken, step one

STEP 1

Place chicken, breast side up, on cutting board. Cut skin between thighs and body

Cutting a whole chicken, step two

STEP 2

Grasping one leg in each hand, lift chicken and bend back legs until bones break at hip joints.

Cutting a whole chicken, step three

STEP 3

Remove leg-thigh from body by cutting (from tail toward shoulder) between the joints, close to bones in back of bird. Repeat other side.

Cutting a whole chicken, step four

STEP 4

To separate thighs and drumsticks, locate knee joint by bending thigh and leg together. With skin side down, cut through joints of each leg.

Cutting a whole chicken, step five

STEP 5

With chicken on back, remove wings by cutting inside of wing just over joint. Pull wing away from body and cut from top down, through joint.

Cutting a whole chicken, step six

STEP 6

Separate breast and back by placing chicken on neck-end or back and cutting (toward board) through joints along each side of rib cage.

Cutting Chicken Wings into Drummettes

Cutting a wing into drummette, step one

STEP 1

With skin side down, flatten wing on cutting board with wingtip on left and thicker (drummette) portion on right.

Cutting a wing into drummette, step two

STEP 2

Cut through joint, leaving as much skin as possible on drummette.

Deboning a Whole Chicken Breast

Deboning whole chicken breast, step one

STEP 1

Place skin-side down on cutting board with widest part nearest you. With point of knife, cut through white cartilage at neck end of keel bone.

Deboning whole chicken breast, step two

STEP 2

Pick up breast and bend back, exposing keel bone.

Deboning whole chicken breast, step three

STEP 3

Loosen meat from bone by running thumbs around both sides; pull out bone and cartilage.

Deboning whole chicken breast, step four

STEP 4

Working with one side of breast, insert tip of knife under long rib bone inside thin membrane and cut or pull meat from rib cage. Turn breast and repeat with other side.

Deboning whole chicken breast, step five

STEP 5

Working from ends of wishbone; scrape all flesh away and cut bone from meat. (If white tendons remain on either side of breast, loosen with knife and pull out.)