How To Break Down a Whole Chicken

Serves: 5 


 4 to 5 pound whole chicken
 Cutting board
 Sharp knife
 Kitchen shears


  1. Position bird on cutting board breast side up, with wings facing away from you. 
  2. Bend wings out from body of bird, and using a sharp knife, slice between joint of wing and breast of bird to free wing. Repeat on opposite side.
  3. Pull drumstick away from chicken, and using small strokes, cut skin, and loosen leg from body. Bend leg quarters down to “pop” and expose joint of leg. Maneuver tip of knife around base of joint and cut leg free. Repeat on opposite side. 
  4. Flip chicken breast side down with cavity facing you. Cut on both sides of backbone, using kitchen shears, to remove it. 
  5. Remove rib meat from both sides of body using a sharp knife. 
  6. Split breasts by carefully cutting through skin on top of center of breasts and work your knife into, and through meat. Press knife through breast bone using both hands to split breast in two. 
  7. Cut breasts widthwise, using both hands to control knife, and split into two pieces. 
  8. Separate drumsticks from thigh, cutting at seam that naturally separates drumstick from thigh, repeat with other leg. 

Tip: Turn giblets into gravy or stock.

Tip: Save backbone and turn into stock.

Tip: Chicken can be frozen up to 9 months. 

Tip: The same technique can be used  to break down a whole turkey.

Tip: To make separating breasts easier, after step 5 carefully slice around keel bone and pull out from bird. Repeat with remaining steps.

Watch the Recipe Video Here!