How to Cut a Chicken into Eight Serving Pieces

From the CHOW Studio comes the first in a series of technique videos. Associate food editor Regan Burns explains how to cut a chicken into eight serving pieces: two wings, two breast halves, two thighs, and two legs.



(Macromedia Flash 7 or above required)

First, rinse the chicken, and trim away excess fat at the neck and body cavity. Place chicken on its back, legs toward you.
  1. Cut through the skin that attaches the breast to the thigh, exposing the meat beneath.
  2. Pop out the thigh joint by bending the leg backward, away from the body; then cut around the bone to release the thigh and leg quarter. Repeat on the other side.
  3. Hold the drumstick at a 45-degree angle with the bone pointing toward you, and cut down through the joint to separate the leg from the thigh.
  4. Turn the bird onto its breast, and cut along each side of the spine to free the backbone.
  5. Leaving the chicken on its breast, cut straight through the breastplate to make two halves.
  6. Turn the breast halves skin side up. Make a diagonal cut about 1 inch in from where the wing joint meets the breast to remove the wings.