Cutting Up A Whole Chicken Into 8 Pieces

whole chicken on a cutting board

Cutting up a whole chicken isn’t something to be intimidated by. It is an ingenious way to save money, and with consistent practice, it will only take you a minute.

You will end up with 2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks, and 2 wings.

This article will cover the step-by-step procedure of cutting a whole chicken into eight pieces. So, let’s jump right into it.

How Do You Cut a Chicken Into 8 Pieces?

Except when you are roasting or grilling the whole chicken at once, you’ll need to cut it into separate parts before you cook it.

What Do You Need?

Before cutting the chicken, here is a list of things you will need.

6 Steps To Cut A Whole Chicken Into 8 Pieces

Below are the six steps you need to cut a whole chicken into eight pieces. Remember to do it in food safe way. (1)

Step 1: Lay the Chicken on a Cutting board

Lay the bird on its back with the drumsticks facing you to see where the joints meet the breast.
In this first step, we will tackle the legs. Grab the first drumstick and make a little slice across the skin where you can see the joint is attached. Cut in between the joints till the leg is detached. Repeat for the second leg.

Step 2: Detach the Thighs from the Drumsticks

Take each leg and place it on the cutting board, skin-side down. Find where the drumstick and things are connected using your hands and knife to feel for the ball joint.

You will cut the drumsticks and the thigh in half, right behind the fat line closest to the drumstick.

Step 3: Detach The Wings

Turn the chicken on its side to cut off its wings. Wiggle each wing to determine where the joint attaches to the breast, then make a small cut on each side so you can easily pop the wing out.
Use a sharp knife to cut through the ball joint where the wings meet the breast.

Step 4: Remove The Backbone

Use your scissors to cut down the backbone. Start at the head and cut through the rib cage on each side of the spine. This is just a bonus piece that you can use later on for chicken stock.

Step 5: Cut Right Through The Breastbone.

To get the breasts, follow the fat layer along the inner ribcage. After a few long slices, you should be able to use your hands to pull the breast apart.

You should follow the line along the rib cage to get as much meat as possible.

Step 6: Divide The Breasts

Cut the breast into two halves. You may have to use force to cut through the breast bone and cartilage down the center of the breast.

While you may decide to have the chicken cut at the grocery store, this is a better option for you and save money. You also end up with the backbone to make chicken stock

A Video Of The Whole Process

I can type a lot more words to explain how to cut a chicken into 8 pieces but a video of the whole process makes it so much easier to understand.

YouTube video player

So, there you have it…

You have successfully learned how to cut up a whole chicken into 8 pieces. Your eight pieces should include:

  • Two drumsticks
  • Two Chicken Wings
  • Two Chicken Thighs
  • Two Pieces of Chicken Breast

In about 3 minutes or even less, you have eight pieces of chicken you can cook with whatever recipe you like.

By the way, did you know that chicken is one of the most popular meats for BBQ?

grilled chicken on a plate being cut

Remember, you also have a backbone you can use for stock, and you would have saved a little extra cash especially when you order your chicken online. So, what’s stopping you from trying this out?

I try to buy several whole chickens when they are on sale and cut them myself and this saved me a lot of money over time.

Do you know that it is also easy to cut up a whole turkey?

It uses the same method but just on a bigger bird.

Eddie van Aken

Eddie van Aken has years of experience in running his full-service restaurant and with this came working with using and dealing with all types of kitchen equipment. With his experience, he can find all the pros and cons of grills and add them to the grill reviews he is doing. You can read more on the about page for Eddie van Aken

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