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How to: Cut up a Chicken


 Whole chickens are good for roasting, but you can also cut them into pieces for braises and stews, and they 

cost about a dollar less than pre-cut chickens. 


You don't need special skills or a lot of muscle. Just practice a couple times and it'll soon become second nature. 


Tip: Don't throw away the leftover back and neck: Store them in the freezer each time you cut up a chicken until
you have enough for stock. Simmer for an hour with water to cover and you'll have a base for a great soup.

 Step 1   med104694_0509_chickencut_ht1.jpg


With chicken breast side up, pull each leg away from body, then slice through skin between breast and drum-


Tip: A sharp chef's knife makes cutting easier, and a separate cutting board for meat helps avoid cross-contami-
nation. These steps also work for cooked chicken.


Step 2   med104694_0509_chickencut_ht2.jpg


Turn chicken on its side. Bend each leg back until thighbone pops out of its socket. Cut through joint and skin
to detach leg completely.


Step 3   med104694_0509_chickencut_ht3.jpg


With chicken on its side, pull each wing away from body. Cut through joint and remove wing.


Step 4   med104694_0509_chickencut_ht4.jpg


Lift up chicken and cut downward through rib cage and then shoulder joints to separate breast from back (save
back for stock).


Step 5   med104694_0509_chickencut_ht5.jpg


Place breast skin side down. Split center bone using a chopping motion, then slice through meat and skin to sep-
arate into 2 pieces.


Step 6   med104694_0509_chickencut_ht6.jpg


To cut breast halves into quarters, turn each skin side up and cut in half diagonally through bone.


Step 7   med104694_0509_chickencut_ht7.jpg


To divide the legs, turn each skin side down and cut through joints (along white fat line) to separate thigh from


Step 8   med104694_0509_chickencut_ht8.jpg


You should end up with 6 to 10 parts, depending on whether you divided the breast halves and legs.


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