How to cut up a chicken and 22 favorite chicken recipes

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Does the thought of cutting up a whole chicken sound a little daunting? Ever pick up a chicken and wonder: Where do I even begin?

It’s OK! We’ve all been there. Cutting up a chicken can be easy -- and fast -- when you know what to do.

Whenever I buy chicken to cook or grill, I always go for the whole bird and cut it up myself. Whole birds are typically so much cheaper than precut pieces -- often a fraction of the price -- and they’re simple to break down when you know what you’re doing.


PHOTOS: 22 favorite chicken recipes

If you’re intimidated by the thought of cutting up a chicken, don’t be. It will probably feel a little foreign at first, but after the first attempt or two, you’ll start to get the hang of it. Practice makes... yeah, you know how the saying goes.

And once you’ve mastered chicken, your amazing new skills will translate to any type of poultry.


A couple of quick tips: Make sure you have a sturdy, sharp chef’s knife and scissors, and give yourself plenty of clean space and time (relax, your speed will build the more you do it). Don’t hesitate to move the bird around so you can learn to “sense” where the bones begin and end at the joints, and where the soft cartilage is to make your cuts when separating pieces.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you’d like me to explore, leave a comment below or shoot me an email at



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