Cutting Up a Whole Chicken

Dividing a chicken can be an easy task if you follow these simple steps.

Whether you're serving a ready-to-eat rotisserie chicken from the grocery store or one you've roasted at home, dividing a whole bird into pieces is a snap with a pair of sharp kitchen shears.

Step 1

1. To cut up a bird, cut through the skin between the thigh and body. Bend thigh back until hip joint breaks. Cut through joint, separating the leg from the body. To separate the thigh and drumstick, slit the skin above the knee joint, break the joint, then cut apart. Repeat on the other side.

Step 2

2. To remove a wing, pull it away from the body. Slit the skin between the wing and body. Bend the wing back until the joint breaks. Cut through the joint. Repeat on the other side.

Step 3

3. With a sharp knife or kitchen shears, cut along the breast end of ribs on one side, cutting toward the neck to separate the breast from the back. Repeat on the other side. Bend front and back halves apart. Cut through neck joints that connect halves.

Step 4

4. To divide the back in half, hold the piece at each end. Bend the ends toward the skin side until the bones break. Cut the back in half where the bones are broken. Cut off the tail.

Step 5

5. To divide the breast in half, cut lengthwise along breastbone. Or, to divide breast in half crosswise, grasp breast at each end and bend breast toward the skin side to break bones. Cut between the wishbone and the breastbone, as shown.

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