So, you roasted your chicken. Nicely done! It came out perfectly—crispy skin and juicy meat. But now you want to chop it up into edible pieces that you can elegantly serve to guests. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it sounds! All you need to carve a whole chicken is a knife, a cutting board, and that chicken.
Watch our test kitchen chef demonstrate his technique below.
How to carve a whole chicken
Step 1: Gather your tools and set up your workspace.
Before you start cutting, make sure you have the right tools for the job. You’ll need a sharp knife and a cutting board. It’s also a good idea to have a pair of kitchen shears to help with cutting through bones.
Step 2: Remove the legs.
Start by removing the legs of the chicken. Hold onto the leg and pull it away from the body to expose the joint. Cut through the joint with your knife or kitchen shears. Repeat on the other side.
Step 3: Remove the wings.
Next, remove the wings. Pull the wing away from the body to expose the joint. Cut through the joint with your knife or kitchen shears. Repeat on the other side.
Step 4: Separate the drumstick from the thigh.
To separate the drumstick from the thigh, locate the joint and cut through it with your knife or kitchen shears.
Step 5: Cut the breast in half.
Place the chicken breast-side up on the cutting board. Use your knife to cut down the center of the breastbone. Cut through the rib bones to separate the two halves of the breast.
Step 6: Remove the backbone.
Flip the chicken over so the back is facing up. Use kitchen shears to cut along both sides of the backbone. Remove the backbone and discard or save for making stock.
Step 7: Cut the breast into smaller pieces.
Cut each half of the breast into two smaller pieces by cutting through the middle of each half.
Step 8: Cut the thighs in half.
Cut each thigh in half by cutting through the middle of the meat.
Now you have successfully cut up a whole chicken! Don’t worry if you don’t get it perfect on the first try— it takes practice to get the hang of it. With this knowledge, you can now use different parts of the chicken for various recipes, such as roasted chicken, fried chicken, chicken soup, and more. So go ahead and experiment with your new skills and enjoy your homemade chicken dishes.
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