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.
Keep Reading

Next Up

Slow Cooker 101

When firing up the slow cooker, it's important to know which cuts of meat will cook best. We've got some top meat picks for a perfect slow-cooker dish.

Slow Cooker Sundae Sauces

A stress-free way to have fresh, warm, homemade sauces for your next sundae party -- courtesy of your slow cooker and the hosts of The Kitchen.

Slow Cooker Hacks

Your trusty slow cooker is brilliant for so much more than just soups and stews. Here are some favorite tricks from the crew at The Kitchen.

How to Caramelize Garlic in a Slow Cooker

Use this earthy, sweet caramelized garlic in sauces and marinades, or spread it on crostini for a quick appetizer.

How to Caramelize Onions in a Slow Cooker

Use your slow cooker to make perfectly caramelized onions without spending hours at the stove.

Afterglow Cooking

Just because the fire has died down doesn't mean your evening is over! Bask in the afterglow of the grill with these clever ideas from the cast of The Kitchen.

A Walk Down Christmas Memory Lane: The Kitchen Cast Shares Holiday Remembrances

Hear from the cast of The Kitchen as they look back on their favorite holiday memories.

Pass the Easy and Elegant Chicken Salad

The Kitchen couldn't leave mom out of our Rotisserie Chicken Club, so we're using this humble supermarket staple in our "Pass the Easy and Elegant Chicken Salad" recipe. The possibilities are endless, but we have the basics that make the perfect salad every time.

Two Ways to Use: Chicken Thighs

While chicken breasts often steal the fuss-free-dinner show, there's another star piece of chicken that's deserving of the spotlight: chicken thighs.

What's New

Latest Stories