How to Break Down a Whole Cooked Chicken

Learning to break down a whole roasted chicken can help you create several different dinner options and save you time and money.

Chef Scott Conant breaks down a whole chicken in the Food Network Fantasy Kitchen, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen

What you'll need:

  • Whole roasted chicken
  • Cutting board
  • Kitchen shears

How to:

  1. Put your whole roasted chicken breast-side up on a cutting board and snip off the trussing string with kitchen shears.
  2. With the shears, cut where the chicken self separates first (thighs and legs), then pull them out of the joint.
  3. Turn the chicken breast-side down. Cut out the backbone and open up the breast plate. Pop out the center bone and peel out the breast plate and cartilage.
  4. Separate the chicken breasts and cut them into thirds with the shears.
  5. Snip off the chicken wings (and tips) and separate them.
  6. Separate the chicken drumsticks from the thighs.
  7. Save the chicken carcass and bones for a homemade chicken stock.
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