There are many reasons why you would want to cut up a chicken by yourself, but the main two are the price and the carcass. Buying a whole chicken is a lot cheaper than buying cuts. And when you cut a chicken on your own, you get the chicken carcass which you can’t buy on its own. That means that cutting up a chicken by yourself saves you money and you get a free pot of chicken stock. It’s a win-win!
Another great thing about cutting up a chicken is the cooking time. Just like when you butterfly a chicken, the cooking time reduces in half, when you cut up a chicken you will reduce the cooking time. Only this time you will cook it even four times faster than cooking it whole. This makes a cut up chicken perfect for weeknight dinners, and my autumn chicken and root veggies sheet pan recipe is just one example 😉
More recipes with cut up chicken are coming soon!
To do this, you don’t need any special equipment. As I mentioned in my post on how to butterfly a chicken, I always suggest using the plastic board over wooden because after use it can be tossed in the dishwasher to be cleaned and sanitized. I’m always using my Ikea Legitim cutting board, that is BPA free, and carving knife from the Berghoff Geminis Knife Set. You can use any other kitchen knife, just make sure it is very sharp so that you prevent slipping and cutting yourself.
If you would also like to learn how to butterfly a chicken, then read this post >> How To Butterfly A Chicken | Step by Step Guide
And now here is how to cut up a chicken by yourself
Place the chicken on the cutting board, breast side facing up. Using a sharp knife, cut the skin between the breast and thigh on one side. Then, fold the leg backward until you break the joint between the thigh and hip. Use the knife to remove it completely. Repeat this on the other side.
Next, you need to remove the wings. Turn the chicken breast side down. Pul the wing to the side and cut through the skin. Similar as you did with the thigh-hip joint, you need to break the shoulder joint, folding it to the side. Then, take the knife and remove the wing completely and repeat on the other side.
Now comes the hardest part. I personally like removing the breasts from the bones and have boneless chicken breasts to cook. So here is how to do it. Place the chicken on the back and use your fingers to locate the breastbone. Carefully run your knife alongside the breastbone, making short scraping cuts very close to the bones. Then gently pull the breast meat away and cut the same way along the ribs to remove the breast completely. Repeat on the other side.
Now you have two chicken legs, two wings, two boneless chicken breasts, and chicken carcass. You can leave the chicken legs as is, or you can separate the drumsticks from the thighs. You can do that by locating the joint with your fingers and then cutting with the knife straight through the joints. That way you will get 8 cuts of a chicken and carcass for the delicious chicken stock.
I also like removing the tips of the wings by cutting them through the joint with my knife. You can also cut the carcass into two (for two smaller batches of chicken stock), and remove the skin from breasts if you want. I use breast skin and wing tips also for making the stock, so nothing gets wasted.
And that’s it! You have cut up a chicken by yourself.
Here is another tip that I would like to share with you. If you come across a whole chicken sale, you can buy a few whole chickens, cut them up into pieces and freeze. You can freeze all the drumsticks, thighs, breasts and wings separated, and it would be as if you’ve bought them already cut up. Then all you need to do is thaw the meat before making your delicious recipes.
Here are some recipe ideas for using the cuts of chicken:
- Autumn Chicken & Root Veggies Sheet Pan
- Oven Baked BBQ Chicken Wings
- One Skillet Curry Chicken Thighs and Potatoes
- Easy Grilled Chicken Dinner Sandwiches
- One Skillet Ginger & Turmeric Chicken Thighs With Rice
- One Skillet Chicken Korma Curry
- Homemade Slow Cooker Chicken Stock
Did you enjoy this post? I would like to hear what you think in the comments below. If you make it don’t forget to post it on Instagram and tag me @simply.anchy or use hashtag #simplyanchyrecipe, because I love to see all of your kitchen creations. Also be sure to follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook, so that you never miss any of my recipes and posts.
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