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Breaking down a chicken

by Tom Hill, Head Butcher at Turner & George

Buying a whole chicken is actually cheaper than buying the cuts separately, ie two breasts, two wings, two drumstick and two thighs, so it far more economical to buy a whole one and take 10 minutes to joint it yourself. You will also end up with the carcass which is great for making stock and if you are making a casserole cooking the breast on the bone helps prevent it from drying out.


It's not that hard breaking down a chicken into the following parts.


  • Breasts - these can be left whole on the bone or cut into two pieces with the wing attached . This is great for portion control as the chicken is divided into 4 pieces of brown meat and 4 pieces of breast. You could always take these off the bone if you wanted.
  • Thighs
  • Drumsticks
  • Wings
  • ... and, of course, the bones make for a great stock


You can watch how this is done in the video below. Jump directly to specific points of interest in the video from the list.


  1. Removing the legs
  2. Removing the backbone
  3. Cutting the legs into drumsticks and thighs
  4. Splitting the breast
  5. Cutting the wings from the breasts




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Richard H. Turner is an acclaimed restaurateur with an unwavering passion for food. James George is a man who knows and loves his trade – he’s a keen advocate of traditional cutting methods and butchery. Together, they formed Turner & George to bring back to the high street the same quality and consistency of meat found in Richard’s kitchens.
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