How To Carve a Chicken

How To Carve a Chicken: Step 1
Photo: Iain Bagwell

Before you could go to the store and purchase a pack of pre-cut, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, nearly every home cook knew how to carve a roasted chicken. We have nothing against pre-cut chicken breasts; in fact, we love using them in easy weeknight dinners. However, learning how to carve a chicken is still very useful. Roasting your own whole chicken delivers crispy skin, customizable flavor, and juicy meat. You don't need to be an expert chef to make your own tender roasted chicken. The art of chicken carving is useful when dealing with store-bought rotisserie chicken, too. Many of our favorite chicken dishes call for the carved meat of deli-roasted rotisserie chickens. With a few simple tips and tricks, you can learn how to carve a chicken like a professional chef. All you'll need a large, wooden cutting board, a very sharp chef's knife, a large, sturdy fork, and a bowl for placing the roasted chicken pieces. This easy step-by-step guide will walk you through the rest.

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Step 1

How To Carve a Chicken: Step 1
Iain Bagwell

The first step in how to carve a chicken is placing the roasted or rotisserie chicken on a large cutting board or meat carving board, breast side up.

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Step 2

How To Carve a Chicken: Step 2
Photo: Iain Bagwell

Start by removing the legs on both sides. Pull the leg and thigh away from one side of the chicken, and cut through the connective joint, removing the entire leg and thigh. Repeat on the other side.

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Step 3

How To Carve a Chicken: Step 3
Photo: Iain Bagwell

To separate the thigh from the drumstick, hold the drumstick and cut away from the thigh, cutting through the connective joint to separate.

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Step 4

How To Carve a Chicken: Step 4
Photo: Iain Bagwell

To remove the breast meat, make a deep vertical cut along one side of the breastbone, using the inside of the breastbone as a guide.

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Step 5

How To Carve a Chicken: Step 5
Photo: Iain Bagwell

Continue cutting to remove the breast meat from the rib cage. If the chicken is warm and juicy, this should be easy sailing. In fact, you can often just use your hand to work the breast meat away from the rib cage after your initial cut.

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Step 6

How To Carve a Chicken: Step 6
Photo: Iain Bagwell

Remove the wings from the chicken by pulling each wing away from the chicken body, cutting through the connective joint.

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