How do You Cut Up a Chicken?

To cut up a chicken that has been processed from the store, first start with the bird breast side up and find the bone that separates the meaty part of the breast. Using a very sharp chefs knife, first slice gently through the skin, then using more force, press knife through the bone. Once the bird is open and the spin is exposed, place the knife to one side of the spine and press down hard, you will hear the bones crack and you’ll feel your knife break through them, this is normal. At the joint of the wing, locate the cartilage between the joints and press your knife through. Repeat on other side of spine, and discard or use for stock. Take one half of the chicken, skin side up, and slice through the skin, diagonally, between the thigh and breast, this should be fairly easy since there is no real bone there. Take the leg and thigh section, skin side up again, locate the joint between them, and press down with the knife. If you have located it correctly, your knife should glide right through. With the breast and wing section, again locate the joint between them and slice through, separating the parts. Repeat the process with the other half of the chicken. One bird cut like this yields 2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 legs, and 2 wings.