How to Butcher a Whole Chicken
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Butchering a whole chicken can seem intimidating, but it’s actually quite simple once you know the steps. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to break down a whole chicken into pieces that are perfect for cooking.
Start by spatchcocking the chicken. This means removing the backbone. Using poultry shears, cut alongside the backbone on both sides to remove the backbone.
Remove the legs and thighs. Slide your shears under the thin membrane over the meat side of the legs and thigh. Cut up toward the ribs. Use a boning knife to remove the membrane. The thigh and leg portion should now be connected only by the skin. Slice through the skin to separate completely from the breasts.
You can further separate the leg from the thigh by slicing in-between them in the crevice where they are attached, then bending them to pop the joint. This will show you where to slice (between the joint) to separate completely.
Remove the breasts from the carcass. Slice along one side of the breastbone down to the rib cage, then follow the rib cage with your knife until only connected at the wing joint. Slice in-between the joint to remove completely.
Remove the wings. You will now see the joint at the bottom of the wing. Slice around the joint to remove the wing from the breast.
Keep scraps for stock. All that is left behind is the breastbone and rib sections. These can be used to make chicken stock immediately, or frozen for future use.
Clean up. After you have finished butchering your chicken, use paper towels to wipe away any excess blood or moisture from both your cutting board and individual pieces of chicken. Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to three days before cooking. Alternatively, you can store in a labeled airtight container in the freezer for up to six months.
There you have it – you can now butcher a whole chicken like a pro! With practice, this process will become easier and quicker over time. And best of all, by breaking down a whole bird yourself instead of buying pre-cut pieces at higher prices, you'll save money while also gaining valuable cooking skills!
What You’ll Need
A whole chicken A cutting board A sharp boning knife Kitchen shears Optional: nitrile gloves
- Serving Size
- 6 oz
- per serving
- 10 grams
- Saturated Fat
- 4.4 grams
- 86 milligrams
- 10.8 milligrams
- 0 grams
- 29 grams