How to Cut Up a Whole Chicken
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Have you compared the price of a whole chicken to that of a pre-cut chicken recently? You'll see it's much more economical to buy it in one piece. That's why we're showing you how to cut up a chicken. We know the thought of butchering a chicken may be a little intimidating, but we're here to assure you that it's really very simple. It just 5 quick steps you'll go from having a whole chicken to having 8 tidy pieces. Once you've divided up your chicken, you can use the pieces immediately or freeze them for later. You'll be amazed at how easy it is to cut up a whole chicken!
Before you begin cutting into your chicken, take time to clean it. Drain off all the excess liquid, remove the giblets and anything else from inside, cut off extra fat around the neck, and pat it dry with paper towels.
Check out our video and tips on how to cut up a whole chicken. It's so easy, you'll feel like a real butcher in no time!
- Remove the leg and thigh quarter. Leaving the breast side up, lightly pull the leg away from the body and cut through the skin between the breast and thigh. Cut about 3/4 of the way through, until you can pop the thigh bone from its socket. Cut the rest of the way through and remove. Repeat on other side.
- Remove the wing. Flip the bird over and lift the wing to see the line of separation. Cut between the joint and breast to remove the wing. Repeat on other side.
- Separate the breast from the back. Stand the bird upright and cut between ribcage and shoulder joints to remove the back from the breast. The back is great for making stock or broth, so make sure to reserve this section if you'd like!
- Cut the breast section in two. Turn the bird breast side up and press down on the center (like you're giving CPR). Cut through the ribcage to separate into two sections. Turn the breasts over and pull to remove cartilage.
- Cut leg from thigh. Place lower quarter skin side down and cut along the fat line between the thigh and leg.
You now have 8 beautiful cuts of chicken to use in any hearty dish. You can even store the chicken in freezer-safe baggies for a later date. Now that you know how to cut up a whole chicken you can buy meat more economically! (Don't forget to check out other other chicken how-tos: How to Butterfly a Chicken and How to Flatten a Chicken Breast.)
Use your chicken pieces to make these homemade chicken dinners!
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