How To Carve a Chicken

Never learned how to carve a chicken? We’ve got you covered with this easy step-by-step guide. Our Knife Skills series is sponsored by Cutco. Cutco’s attention to quality craftsmanship and unwavering Forever Guarantee, covering free sharpening and repairs with no registration or receipt required, have been at its foundation since 1949. Learn more at www.cutco.com

Step-by-step guide for carving a chicken perfectly

We at The Cookful love a good roast chicken. Slather on some oil, add a few shakes of salt and pepper and pop it in the oven (check out our basic roast chicken recipe at the bottom of this article). It’s one of the simplest meals and yet so comforting and delicious that it’s perfect for when friends come over too.

How to Carve a ChickenYou’ll only need two tools to do the carving. Today I chose to use a boning knife and a carving fork. I chose a boning knife instead of carving knife because I am deboning the chicken and then carving.

Step#1

Place your roasted and rested chicken on a cutting board.
Roasted Chicken

Step#2

Using your knife, cut in-between the thigh and breast. There is a little pocket of air you will feel and know where to cut between both.

Cut the thigh

Follow the cut along the thigh and breast.

Cutting a chicken thigh

Step#3

Using your hands pull the thigh and leg loose from the chicken body and repeat with the other side.

Removing thigh from chicken

Step#4

Use your knife and cut between the thigh and leg bone at the joint. To find the joint, move the leg and watch where it hinges.

cutting chicken leg

The cut should look like this. Repeat with the other leg.

Thigh and leg of chicken

Step#5

Now it’s time to move on to the breast. Locate the breast bone in the middle of the breast and cut on both sides of the bone.

carving a chicken breast

Step#6

Use your boning knife to slowly cut the breast from the ribs using short strokes from the tip of the blade.

Removing chicken from ribs

Disconnect the breast from the chicken. Repeat with the other side.

Deboning chicken

The skin should still be intact with the breast.

Chicken breast with skin

Step#7

Holding your carving fork and knife, slice the chicken breast.

Slicing the chicken breast

Step#8

Disconnect the wing from the chicken. Repeat on the opposite side.

Removing the wing from the chicken

Step#9

Transfer the chicken slices and pieces to a large plate or platter to serve. If you’re looking for a basic roast chicken recipe to carve up, scroll down. Our favorite roast chicken recipe is down there.

Platter of chicken

A Basic Roast Chicken to Carve Up

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 5 lb. whole chicken
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4. tsp coarse black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place chicken in roaster and rub with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake until internal temperature (taken in the middle of the thigh with an instant-read thermometer) reaches 165°F, about 90 minutes.
  2. Let chicken rest 15 minutes before carving.
  3. Using your knife, cut in-between the thigh and breast and follow your cut. Using your hands pull the thigh and leg loose from the chicken body and repeat with the other side. Switch back to your knife and cut between the thigh and leg bone. It’s easy to find if you move the leg and watch where it hinges. Repeat.
  4. Locate the breast bone in the middle of the breast and cut on both sides of the bone. Use your boning knife to slowly cut the breast from the ribs using short strokes from the tip of the blade. Slice the breast. Repeat.
  5. Disconnect the wing from the chicken. Repeat on the opposite side. Transfer chicken pieces and slices to a large plate or platter to serve.
Disclosure: This article is sponsored by Cutco. All opinions are ours and honest.

Lyndsay Burginger

It’s always entertaining when Lyndsay’s in the kitchen. She’s even been known to belt out Broadway show tunes while making dinner (a handy whisk as her microphone, of course). She currently writes for her personal blog, LyndsayPaige.com focusing on recipes based on literature. Lyndsay is also on the editorial team at The Cookful.