While it's easy to buy pre-cut chicken at the store that's already separated into breast, wings or thighs, you can usually "save a few bucks", as Stef says, by cutting up a whole chicken yourself. Once you understand the structure of the bird and where the joints meet, it's really easy. Plus you'll get to impress the family with your new butchery skills.
Watch Stefano as he demonstrates how and where to cut up a whole chicken in this video here, and follow along with the instructions below. All you need is a good sharp knife and a little practice and you'll be a pro in no time.
- Remove the legs by making incisions where the thighs meet the body. Loosen up the joints by pulling the leg and thigh away from the breast so you can see a little easier where the joints are. Cut along the joint and remove the legs, one at a time.
- Separate the thighs from the drumsticks by cutting through the joint where they meet in the middle.
- Remove the wings by cutting through at the joint where they attach to the breast.
- Now all you're left with is the breast meat attached to the carcass. Using your hands and a little force, pull away the carcass completely from the breast bone, cutting if you need to release it completely. With the remaining breasts, cut down the middle of the back bone to separate into two, then cut each breast in half, crosswise.
Presto! You've got ten perfect pieces of chicken, along with a carcass for stock. Now get practising by cutting up a whole chicken for any of these delicious recipes.
Portuguese Grilled Chicken
Chicken Club Sandwich
Chicken Salad Sandwich with Apples and Walnuts
Easy Chicken Tikka Masala