While it is true that thighs and drumsticks often go on sale, nothing in my opinion beats a whole chicken for the price. However, it is not every day that I’m in the mood for roast chicken or its planned overs.
So, when whole chickens go on sale and I am feeling particularly industrious, I cut them up myself. All you need is a sharp knife and a willingness to get your hands dirty.
Out of respect for the squeamish and vegetarians, all raw poultry pictures will be after the jump.
How hard is it to get from this to this?
The truth is, it tok longer for me to type up this tutorial than it did to convince my husband to take pictures and cut up the chicken.
First remove the giblets, be sure to save that neck for you next batch of stock.
Firmly grasp a leg in one hand and the body of the chicken in the other. Pull the leg away from body in the direction of the wing until you feel the thigh joint dislocate. Take your knife and cut the thin skin between the bottom of the breast and the thigh.
Pull the leg away from the chicken as illustrated and cut the connective tissue in the thigh joint. The cartilage should be easy to cut through once the leg has been dislocated. This should free the leg from the carcass; set it aside. Repeat on the other side. If you would like to seperate the drumstick from the thigh, grasp the drumstick in one hand and the thigh in the other. Pull in opposite directions with a slight twisting motion to dislocate the knee joint. Cut through the cartilage to separate.
In the same manner as the thigh, grasp the chicken wing and pull away and behind the body. This should separate the shoulder joint. Cut through the connective tissue and remove from the body. Slide your knife under the rib meat to begin separation of the breast from the back, do this on both sides.
Grasp the back in one hand and the breast in the other, with a tight grip; twist to separate. You will have to cut through connective tissue at the shoulders.
To split the breast apply firm pressure to the sternum with the sharp point of your knife. Be very careful and keep your fingers out of the way, as this is when your knife is most likely to slip. A good amount of pressure will be needed to divide the cartilage.
Now that wasn’t so hard, was it? Please be sure to disinfect your work area.