Over the last year, I’ve run across a couple of good PDF downloads on cutting up a whole chicken, as well as a nice diagram of the cut-up parts. I suggest downloading at least one of these, as you never know when the only chicken available will be whole!
The bottom download also includes information on boning a chicken breast, which I often used while cruising — with very limited freezer space, I always boned meat before freezing it as I wasn’t about to waste space on bones!
UPDATE: I recently ran across a good YouTube video on cutting up a whole chicken. It’s a little low-res (grainy, but downloads quickly) but it’s almost exactly how I do it. The video is embedded below the PDFs. And I posted a video of how to bone a chicken breast.
Unfortunately, the poultry industry doesn’t make available any nice PDF cut charts like some of the other meat industries. The .jpg above is the best reference I’ve been able to find, so you may just wish to print this page out.
Here are the links — you can either click on the link to view the document (and save it from there), or right-click and “Save File As” (or whatever your browser calls it) to just download it.
- How To Cut Up a Chicken from the University of Wisconsin Extension Service. Detailed directions on cutting up a whole bird into halves, quarters or pieces with photos (160 KB).
- How To Cut Up a Chicken and Bone the Breast from the University of Delaware Extension Service. Step-by-step directions for cutting up a chicken and boning the breasts, with drawings (218 KB). Also see my video of how to bone a chicken breast.
And here’s the YouTube video on cutting up a whole chicken:
Looking for a cookbook with this type of basic how-to information as well as plenty of recipes that are easy to make with ingredients that are easy to find? I’d like to suggest The Boat Galley Cookbook — sign up to be notified when it’s in stores!