Skinning and Boning Chicken

Follow these helpful hints to prepare your chicken properly.


Enlarge Image Step 1

1. To skin chicken breasts, place the whole breast, skin-side-up, on a cutting board. Starting on one side of the breast, use your hand to pull the skin away from the meat. Discard the skin.

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2. To bone chicken breasts, cut the meat away from one side of the breastbone, using a thin, sharp knife. Then move the knife over the rib bones, pulling away the meat. Repeat on the other side.

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3. To remove the long, white tendon from each breast half, hold one end of the tendon with your fingers. Use the tip of the knife to scrape the meat away from the tendon as you pull it out.

Enlarge Image Step 1.

1. Starting from the inside of the neck opening, use your fingers to find the joints where the wings attach to the back. With a small sharp knife, make a cut just inside the neck opening on each side of the bird to expose the bones that from the joints. Cut through the joints and ligaments, as shown.

Enlarge Image Step 2.

2. Loosen the meat from the wishbone with your fingers. Use a knife or kitchen shears to cut the ligaments as necessary. Remove the wishbone. It may be necessary to cut the wishbone away from the breastbone.

Enlarge Image Step 3.

3. Work your index finger down along each side of the breastbone, freeing the meat from the bone as you go. Use a knife to loosen the white cartilage from the skin, if necessary, to release the breastbone.

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4. Work your fingers around the rib cage to the back and as far down the backbone as you can. Loosen the meat and cut the cartilage, if necessary. Turn the bird over to make detaching the meat from the backbone easier.

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5. With your fingers, break the portion of the ribs and backbone that have been freed of meat. Remove them through the opening, along with the attached breastbone, as shown.

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6. Break the joints that connect the lower backbone to the thighbones. Pull the meat away from the joints and cut through the ligaments at the joints.

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7. Remove the remaining portion of the rib cage and backbone. For larger birds, such as turkeys, it is easiest to remove the rib cage-backbone portions through the larger bottom opening of the bird.

Enlarge Image Step 8.

8. Break the joints between the legs and thighs. From the inside of the bird, loosen or scrape the meat from the thighbones, cutting the ligaments as necessary. Remove the thighbones, as shown.


Boning Skinned Chicken
Boning Skinned Chicken

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