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.
- ... 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.
- Removing the legs
- Removing the backbone
- Cutting the legs into drumsticks and thighs
- Splitting the breast
- Cutting the wings from the breasts