How To Cut Up A Whole Chicken

How To Cut Up A Whole Chicken |

When I was about 14, my mom taught me how to cut up a whole chicken.

Yikes! What a throwback! 🙂 I am being very brave putting this awful picture of me during a very chubby stage in my life out in the cyber world. 

How to cut up a whole chicken |

I was totally game for learning, but I was also a little doubtful that I would ever need to actually use this skill.

I mean, chicken thighs and breasts are readily available at any grocery store, right?

Now I realize the value of this simple skill, and I use it all the time!

Knowing how to cut up a whole chicken can greatly benefit you, whether you are butchering your own chickens, or you are saving money by buying whole organic chickens and cutting them into your desired pieces.

(Have you noticed the price of organic, free range chicken breasts recently? Buying a whole bird is much more economical!)

Place the entire chicken on a large cutting board. (If you use wooden cutting boards like I do, please have a designated “raw meat board”! Cross contamination is not cool!)

How To Cut Up A Whole Chicken |

Place your knife just to the right of the breast bone, like this.

How To Cut Up A Whole Chicken |

Cut downward until you reach bone, then slant your knife outward, cutting along the bottom bone until you have removed the entire breast.

How To Cut Up A Whole Chicken |

Repeat on the other breast.

How To Cut Up A Whole Chicken |

Next come the legs. Remove the legs by cutting the cartilage at the joint.

How To Cut Up A Whole Chicken |

Once you have both of the legs removed, flip the bird over and cut the thighs off like this.

How To Cut Up A Whole Chicken |

You can now either cut off the wings, or leave them with the rest of the carcass if you don’t want to use them separately.

You have now cut up a whole chicken! Not too difficult :).

Freeze, or use the raw meat within a day or two.

How To Cut Up A Whole Chicken |

I like to freeze the breasts in one bag, the thighs and legs in another, and throw the remaining carcass in the crockpot until cooked through and the meat is falling off the bones. Then I pick the meat off the bones, freeze it for soup, and make chicken stock and bouillon with the leftover carcass!!

This gets me MULTIPLE meals- all from cutting up one chicken!

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4 responses to “How To Cut Up A Whole Chicken”

  1. Charissa says:

    What an easy tutorial! I wish I had seen this last week when I tried to cut up a chicken. Thank you for sharing. I made it here from Simple Lives Thursdays linky party.

  2. Sherri Cotten says:

    This makes me smile. How well I remember teaching you girls to cut up a whole chicken. So glad you are using that skill! You’re right…it’s much cheaper. I’m also noticing the wall paper and the knives. You girls helped me strip the wallpaper and repaint years ago. Two of those knives went to knife heaven after multiple uses as a hatchet when the kids used them to open coconuts. Good memories.

  3. Russ says:

    What a fantastic tutorial! I am so looking forward to trying this out for myself! All I need are lots and lots of chickens to eat.

  4. Elly says:

    YouTube Jacques Pepin parting out a chicken. When you start with the thighs, it’s much easier and you don’t leave the best part of the thigh, the “oyster”, attached to the backbone, the way you ended up doing. Wing tips are also great to boil with the carcass to make broth. There isn’t much meat on them anyway.

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