How to Cut a Whole Chicken: 7 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Cut a Whole Chicken: 7 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Cut a Whole Chicken: 7 Steps (with Pictures)

Cooking a whole chicken is a great way to save money and feed the whole family. In addition to eating the meat, you can also use the leftover bones to make soup. To cut a chicken, you need to separate the dark meat from the white meat, getting about 4 portions of equal size for grilling, roasting, cooking or preparing the way you want.


Part 1 of 2: Preparing the Chicken

Quarter to Chicken Step 1

Step 1. Remove the chicken from the packaging and remove your giblets

Most commercial chickens are packaged in plastic, which needs to be drilled and drained in the sink. Remove plastic and discard.

  • Usually, the giblets are inside the chicken, in a small plastic bag or packaged separately. Locate it and remove it from inside the bird. You can use them to make a very strong chicken stock, or you can discard them.
  • Contrary to what is said out there, it is not necessary to wash the chicken meat before preparing it. If you do, the bacteria there can spread throughout the kitchen, increasing the risk of illness. Just cook it at a temperature of 73°C to kill all the bacteria. Proper cooking does not require washing.
Quarter to Chicken Step 2

Step 2. Prepare a surface for cutting the chicken

It must be clean and resistant, suitable for meat. After use, remember to carefully clean both the surface and the kitchen knife.

Quarter to Chicken Step 3

Step 3. Use a sharp and sturdy knife

To cut a chicken into pieces, you have to run the knife through the bones, so it has to be strong. A good chef's knife or a cleaver is essential for this task. Sharpen the knife very well before you start, or have someone sharpen it.

Part 2 of 2: Trimming the Chicken

Step 1. Separate the chicken thighs

Cut a cut into the thigh joint using a butcher knife. This will release the piece, but not remove it completely.

Pull and rotate them until they are removed, then make another cut in the gasket below to completely remove each piece

Quarter to Chicken Step 5

Step 2. Separate the thigh from the thigh

Place this piece on the cutting board with the skin facing down. Use a butcher's knife to find the notch in the upper thigh and thigh to separate them.

You can also leave the thigh and thigh together to have a larger piece, if you wish

Step 3. Remove the chest without removing the wings

Turn it over so that the neck cavity is closer to you. Make a cut along the backbone to the neck cavity, using a knife or kitchen scissors to cut the carcass. Then cut the breast bone, which separates your two sides.

  • Remove excess fat and bones by cutting where the carcass meets the breast, separating the bones and discarding them, or using them in the broth. Also remove the bone and cartilage from the chicken breast.
  • Some people find that putting the chest face up is much easier. Using your fingers, squeeze the center of the chest to find the cartilage and insert a knife into one side of it. Use the tip of the knife to start and the blade to break through the chest, separating it into halves. Then remove excess bones from the carcass.

Step 4. Make cuts in the wing joints to separate them from the chest

Place knife tip on chicken and pull wing back to expose joint. Then insert the knife and remove the wing.


  • To make soups, cut the rest of the carcass in half between the sternum and the ribs. That way, you'll have two large pieces to put in the pan and make chicken stock.
  • The process of carving up the chicken can be done before or after cooking it. Some recipes, especially those that go over the fire, suggest that the chicken be shredded and seasoned before cooking, so that it fits properly in the pan.
  • Wear gloves. When dealing with raw chicken, gloves prevent bacteria from getting into your hands. If the chicken has just been taken out of the oven, they protect your hands from the heat. Just be sure to wash gloves thoroughly after handling.


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