People often buy pre-cut and cleaned chicken from stores because they don't know how to do it themselves, but here you will learn the very simple, quick, and easy techniques required to do so. Buying a whole chicken is cheaper than buying processed, because then you can use the bones for stock and reserve the meat for later use in curries and gravy.
Before you start:
It is not a hard task to cut a chicken; a sharp knife is the main tool. One should always remember that the fat line in the chicken is a guide to where you should start your cutting. Here is a step by step visual reference on how to cut a whole chicken:
- Step one: The finger points to where the skin is. Place the knife on the skin and cut through, making a vertical incision through the bird on both sides where you can see the fat lines joining the bones.
Cut through the skin
- Step two: Hold the chicken leg and pull so that you are able to see the joint, cut through the joint separating the leg from the bird. Following this method, cut both the leg joints.
- Step four: Place the knife on the breast bone and slit through the meat, separating it from the bone. Carefully pull this outwards so as not to tear the flesh.
- Step five: With your index finger feel the joint that connects the leg from the thigh, place the knife and cut through this joint separating the leg from thigh.
- Step six: 1 whole chicken results in two breast pieces, two chicken wings, 2 leg pieces, 2 thigh pieces. The carcass can be used for making soup and stock.
Utilize the whole chicken completely:
If you buy a whole chicken from the market, make sure that you utilize it all. Ay meat that you aren't using can be frozen for later use, and the bones can be used for making chicken stock.
For example, you can prepare chicken gravy for lunch, roasted chicken for dinner and some shredded chicken with bones to make a delicious soup.
Pro tip: the best broth comes out of a rotisserie chicken; so, if you have leftover bones of a rotisserie chicken, all you have to do is to throw them in hot water, with some chopped garlic, onions and seasonings of your choice. Simmer for one hour, strain and freeze.
The bones from one whole chicken can make up to 2 liters of stock.