How To Cut Up a Whole Chicken

how to cut up a whole chicken post

Buying a whole chicken runs about $1.27/lb. average (in my area) and is much cheaper than buying the parts separately. Breasts are on the average $3.99/lb. and legs/thighs go for $2.19/lb. Don’t get me started on wings! Cray cray on those prices!

We also raise our own meat chickens, and usually leave them whole when we process them. Don’t get me wrong, we like eating whole roasted chicken once in a while, but there are times when I just want hot wings, or to use the breasts for a recipe. So, I cut a lot of them up to use in that manner. Learning how to cut up a whole chicken is easy. Be sure to watch the video below for more help!

whole chicken ready to be cut

Begin by placing the whole chicken, breast side up. You want an extremely SHARP knife to work with, to minimize slippage and possible injury.

starting to cut down the fat line

Start your cutting down the “fat line” of the inner thigh and leg piece together. Then, you will “pop” the thigh joint to get it to lay flat.

popping the joint

Repeat on the other side. Keep the legs and thighs attached for now, to stabilize the bird. Then, carefully, slice down the breastbone to remove the breast.

slicing down the breastbone

Carefully, cut around the entire breast along the “fat lines” and remove. Repeat on the other side.

cutting further the entire breast

Next, you will remove the wings along the joint. This may require you to turn the bird slightly to get under the joint.

removing a wing

Go back to the leg and thigh quarter, and follow the “fat lines” to remove. Repeat on other side.

removing a leg

To have the legs and thighs separate, simply place the knife in the joint area and “pop” it down to cut through. This is another reason to have a really sharp knife. If you want to skin the thighs or breasts, this is a good time to do it, too.

slicing the thighs

You now have a fully fabricated chicken! You can use the pieces any way you wish, and the carcass makes a wonderful bone broth!

Follow the post here to make bone broth in your InstantPot, too! 

 

What will you do with your chicken pieces? To get some delicious budget stretching recipes, read the post here. Be sure to pin this for later, too! 

fabricate chicken pin

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21 thoughts on “How To Cut Up a Whole Chicken”

  1. Krystal Bernier

    Your method is way better than mine, I will be switching over 🙂 You make it look so easy, so we will see how it goes. It really is amazing how they overcharge for those chicken parts. It takes a little more elbow grease to cut up the chickens yourself, but the savings are so worth it.

  2. My mom would even fry the back. She didn’t waste any part. She even fried the liver, gizzard, and heart. With 6 people to feed, you didn’t waste any part.

  3. This is great, the pictures make it so easy. I’ve never had to cut up a whole chicken because we have so many mouths to feed.

  4. Merissa @ Little House Living

    Thanks for sharing this! I bet I could fit more than one chicken in the crockpot if I cut it up. I may have to try it next time!

  5. This is perfect! I think I’m going to email this article to the peeps who said they’re going to help us slaughter chickens. We usually freeze them whole, But I think I want to part them up this time. Thanks!

  6. This is great! We have been getting whole chickens a lot lately. Can’t wait to follow along with this tutorial!

  7. This is a great help. Butchering is often what stops us from raising chickens. It’s great to see the photos that make it so much easlier.

  8. I have cut up lots (and lots, and lots) of chicken, but I was entirely self-taught. I knew it had to be easier than what I was doing. I used your video today to cut up one and I can’t thank you enough. It was great. I was even able to preserve the little “oyster” of meat on the back of the thigh. Could never do that before.
    This will certainly make butchering time easier.

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