How to Cut Up a Whole Chicken


1.  Remove the legs
Place the chicken breast side up on a solid cutting board. Pull one leg away from the body and cut through the skin between the body and both sides of the thigh.

Bend the whole leg firmly away from the body until the ball of the thighbone pops from the hip socket.  Cut between the ball and the socket to separate the leg. Repeat with the other leg.

    2.  Divide The Legs
Place the chicken leg skin side down on the cutting board.  Cut down firmly through the joint between the drumstick and the thigh.




3. Remove The Wings
With chicken on it's back, remove wing by cutting inside of wing just over joint.   Pull wing away from body and cut from down through the skin and the joint. Repeat with the other wing.



4Cut Carcass in Half 
Cut through the cavity of the bird from the tail end and slice through the thin area around the shoulder joint.  Cut parallel to the backbone and slice the bones of the rib cage.  Repeat on the opposite side of the backbone.





5.  Remove The Breast
Pull apart the breast and the back.  Cut down trough the shoulder bones to detach the breast from the back.  Cut the back into two pieces by cutting across the backbone where the ribs end.



.  Cut Breast In Half
You may leave the breast whole if your recipe requires. To cut in in half, use a strong, steady pressure and cut downward along the length of the breastbone to separate the breast into two pieces.




Why Cut  Up Your Own Chicken?

  • Whole chickens cost much less per pound
  • Precut meat is often poorly trimmed and you get less meat per pound.

The picture on the left shows a whole chicken cut in 10 pieces.
a. Legs, b. thighs, c. wings, d. part of back portion. e. tail end of back portion. f. breasts, and c. wings.