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How to Cut Up a Whole Chicken

How to cut up a whole chicken

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Why the hell would I want to cut up a whole chicken, you ask? It’s cheaper if you buy chickens whole rather than pre-cut, and then you can use the backbone to make stock. Cutting up a chicken is pretty straightforward, and Melissa Clark’s video breaks it down for you so you will be an expert in no time. Here is the original video with links to subscribe to New York Times Cooking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSvzRyu2h5g


  • You’re going to start with the legs, and then the wings, and then work your way to removing the backbone (saving for the stock), and finally the breasts.
  • Use the fat lines on the chicken as a guide – most of your cuts will be along these lines.
  • To make your stock, combine the backbone, peeled and lightly chopped garlic, onion, and whatever else you have on hand (celery, carrots, bay leaf, clove, etc) in a stockpot, simmer for 1-2 hours, and then strain and save for later!