Have you ever tried to butcher a whole dressed chicken? I remember the first time to butcher a whole chicken; it was confusing. Back then, I didn’t know where to start and I have no idea as to how many parts should I divide it into. I spent more than 30 minutes to complete the task and I created a mess. The chicken was torn apart; I can’t even recognize one part from the other.
After observing how my mom does it (not to mention several hours of watching several cooking shows on TV), I finally figured the steps and techniques to butcher a chicken appropriately. After that day, I practiced… and practiced… and practiced until I got it right.
This is a basic topic that most of you already know. For the benefit of those who want to learn the proper way, I listed some steps that you may use as a guide. Remember, knowledge is just the first part of learning. Once you know what to do, start to practice until you get it right. Also, take extra caution when handling sharp objects. Good luck!
1. Place the chicken on a chopping board (the back should be facing down). Using a sharp knife (preferably chef’s knife), slice between the leg and breast until you reach the bone. Stop right there; don’t attempt to cut the bone.
2. Loosen the hip joint by pulling the sliced leg away from the body while pressing the back of the hip joint. You’ll know that you are done when you see the leg bone pop-out from the joint.
3. Once the leg bone is disconnected, continue slicing through the joint until the leg and thigh are completely detached.
4. Separate the drumstick and thigh by putting the leg on a chopping board and cutting through the joint between the two parts.
5. Pull the wing out and cut it off at the joint then trim the wing tip. Perform step number 2,3, and this step to the other side of the chicken.
6. Remove the breast by making a slit down the middle of the breastbone then continue slicing alongside the ribcage while pulling the meat.
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7. Turn the remaining part around and perform step number 6 to remove the breast on the other side.
As for the trimmings and remaining parts, you can always use them to make chicken stock so nothing goes to waste.