Butchering a chicken can seem intimidating, especially if you’ve never done it before. Because of this, many people are reluctant to buy a whole bird, but breaking down a chicken is not nearly as hard as it looks! As a chef, it’s important to understand where your meat comes from and how to utilize an animal holistically. Learning to butcher a chicken is a great way to test these skills and get excellent practice in accessing all parts of the animal. Check our the video below to see how to break down a chicken in 3 easy steps:
1. Removing the drumstick from the thigh. To start this process, cut the skin where the two sections connect. Repeat for both sides. Then, pop the the join under the drumsticks towards the bottom of the chicken and cut through this joint to fully remove the drumstick from the body.
2. Removing the breast. Locate the breastbone and run your knife along one side of the bone. Staying close to the cartilage and cutting downward and away from the bone, continue to cut the breast until it comes off. Repeat this process to remove the other breast.
3. Removing the wings. At this point, your wings should be exposed and laying open on your chopping board. Locate the joint that connects the wings to the body and cut through it to disconnect the wings.
4. Save the rest of your chicken so you can use it to make a hearty chicken stock. To learn how to do this, check out our video here!
5. (Optional) If you want, you can remove the thigh meat from the drumstick. To do this, find the joint between the thigh and the drumstick, and cut towards the thigh and down and away from the drumstick at an angle. Your knife should be able to slide straight through, separating the two pieces of meat.
Comment below with your favorite part of the chicken and how you like to cook with it, and be sure to check out our How To’s Section for more great tips and inspiring ideas!