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How to Cut Up a Chicken

from Steve
"If I can do this, anyone can"

1. Buy a free-range, organic chicken from your natural foods supermarket or at your farmer's market. Remove outer wrapping and any parts stored in the cavity.  Put the chicken on a cutting board.  Be sure your knife is sharp (a boning knife works best). Wash your hands with soap and hot water. 

2. To remove the legs: The chicken is breast side up. Cut the skin between the leg and the thigh. Pull the leg away from the body till the hip socket pops.  You can hear it.  Cut it there.

3. Separate the thigh from the leg:  You can pop that joint too if you can locate it, by bending the leg back.
4. Take off the wings. It's probably better if the chicken is on its back. Cut the wing at the crease.  Include a small chunk of the breast if you want to make equal portions.
5. Take the back away from the breast:  Cut away along the line of fat on both sides. Rip the back off. (make stock?)
6. Cut the breast in half.  Cavity side up, cut through the middle soft bone length wise. Easier with a heavy knife.  Then cut each half in half, width wise.

7. Wash the cutting board and knife with hot soapy water.  Wash your hands with soap and hot water. 



Jenna L
Perfect timing. I'm sending this to my mom... maybe she won't ask me to break down several chickens for the freezer the next time I go down to visit! Steve did a great job - I know she can handle it with this to guide her.
March 3, 2010, 8:54 am

Well that clears up the mystery for me. Thanks for this video. I have a chicken thawing for dinner and I am going to cut it up instead of baking it whole. Need some practice.
March 3, 2010, 11:40 am

Eileen Ryan
AH! Honestly, not knowing how to do this properly and, admittedly, sqeamishness has kept me from buying my chickens from a local farm. I thank you and my farmer thanks you.
March 3, 2010, 11:40 am

Lauren Shaddox
It's amazing how far we've gotten from this kind of knowledge. Someone like my grandmother (died three years ago) would have never had to read this kind of advice. But it helps me a lot! Thank you.
March 3, 2010, 8:27 pm

Juliana Elton
It helps so much to see things like this instead of reading the directions! Sometimes I like to make a bag of extra pieces that I missed cutting off and use it for stir fries (I usually cut the breast off the bones and miss a few little bits of meat) Thanks!
March 4, 2010, 4:24 pm

Patricia Collins
I remember watching my mother do this and being totally grossed out. I swore I would always buy my chicken cut up. But now that I have to pay for the chicken, I always buy whole birds, and cutting them up has become kind of fun.
March 10, 2010, 9:08 pm

so helpful! yet another thing you guys have taught me. steve is hilarious- one person gets a wing and another person gets a breast. that's not fair. ha ha. THANK YOU!
April 25, 2010, 2:06 pm

Papa John
Wonderful directions, I have too have been a little afraid to do this. One thing tho is that a lot of the cutting is done out of the camera view so I had a hard time visualizing what you were doing. Over all tho I did learn alot...thanks
September 18, 2010, 8:37 pm

Two thumbs up.......and both still attached!!! Very helpful.
February 5, 2011, 2:08 pm

amber buckwald
Inspiring! great directions.
March 4, 2011, 9:03 am

Mauve Mauve
I feel so much happier now I understand all this. Thakns!
May 3, 2011, 10:43 pm

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May 22, 2011, 3:23 pm

Rebekah Kelly
I have come back to these instructions 3 or 4 times (every time I have needed to cut up a whole chicken). I will jump for joy when I can do this on my own without having to come back for a refresher! You all are the best! I'm so glad you are there for all of us.
July 14, 2011, 3:30 am

Dominique Williams
I adore your videos and how much fun you all are! Thank you so much! Please keep putting these videos on your website :-)
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