How to Divide a Whole Chicken

Do you buy whole chickens?  The cutting, chopping and separating of a chicken can be a tedious and — you may think — a really disgusting process.   I am not disagreeing with you, but my thoughts changed when I learned how to  cut the chicken correctly and saw the benefits of “jointing” the chicken myself.

Let’s start with the dividing process.

Things you will need:

  • A good knife or kitchen shears
  • A cutting board that is used for cutting meats.  These can be bought at any kitchen retail store
  • A stockpot to put the scraps that will later be used to make stock
  • A Whole Chicken
    • I get my chickens from a friend who I know farm raises the chickens and they have a grass-fed diet.  Ask your local grocery store where the meat comes from.  Start getting to know your meat and the people who raise the animals that you are about to consume
  1. Place the chicken (unwashed) on the cutting board, breast side up.
  2. Straighten the legs and search for the joint.  Make a slit in the skin and break the joint.
  3.  Pull out the Chicken legs and break the joint and slice through the joint between the thighbone and the breast.
  4.  Once the piece is separated on both sides, search for the joint between the drumstick and the thigh, put the joint back and slice through the joint to separate the drumstick from the thigh.
  5.  Pull the wing out and find the joint between the wing and the breast.  Slice through the joint.
  6.  With the breasts up, place your knife next to the breastbone and slice down one side of the chicken to expose the carcass and to remove one of the breasts.  Once this breast is removed, do the same thing to the other side.
  7.  Place your carcass and any of the chicken pieces you don’t want to eat and place in your stockpot.

You now have 8 pieces of chicken and about to have homemade chicken stock!

If you need to watch a video while doing this, I recommend Gordon Ramsay’s: How to Joint a Chicken

  Wash your hands with soap and warm water!

It is more economical to buy a whole chicken and separate it yourself.  This is great for the pocket-book.  It does take a while to get the hang of cutting a chicken into pieces, so don’t stress over the time it takes.  It gets easier with practice.

Some other reasons that I really like cutting my own chicken is:

  • It allows me to make chicken stock
  • I know what the product is that I am eating
  • There is a connectedness that I experience with a slicing a chicken.  I know that each piece of the chicken is put to good use and not simply thrown away.


By | 2017-01-27T14:49:32-08:00 April 2nd, 2014|Categories: Corn Free, Gluten Free|Tags: , , |1 Comment

About the Author:

At Mary Lee Kitchen, we believe that what we eat matters. Each of us has the right to know what is in our food. Over the years the food industry has negatively impacted our health and well being. This has caused the rise of food allergies, food sensitivities, rise in child obesity- which are just a few of the harmful side effects of the food manufactures created. It is time for us to implement change. I am a food artisan that creates allergy free products that are made in a sustainable way. Through my own experience with rare food allergies, I have learned how to cook in a way that is inclusive for all diets. Through food education, recipes, and products I support the gathering of all people around the kitchen table.

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