Wondering How to Cur a Whole Chicken? Here we'll teach you how to cut a whole chicken into half and then into 8 small pieces.
We do believe that learning the skill of cutting a whole chicken is integral to being a good cook and a host.
Wouldn't you like to impress your family and friends by carving up a whole roasted chicken right on the dinner table with a flourish? Unless you're a vegan or a vegetarian, then you are excused!
But if you're not, then we suggest you buckle up and get ready to learn how to cut a whole chicken!
What do you need to cut a chicken?
If you think that all you need is a big ol' cleaver and a whole chicken to get fresh cut chicken, then we have some news for you.
The most important thing when it comes to cutting a whole chicken is the surface you work on.
Just think about it, you will need a sharp knife to cleave through the chicken. So you will need a stable and flat surface that will not make your chicken wobble while you carve it up.
To summarize this, when you're picking a surface for your whole chicken you should take following things into consideration:
- The surface should be flat and stable. You should be able to hold your whole chicken down on it easily while you carve it.
- The surface should be clean and sanitised. Just cleaning it with a paper towel isn't enough. Make sure it is disinfected as well for extra safety!
- Cutting boards are easily available in the market and you should consider buying them as it'll make your work way easier. We suggest choosing plastic cutting boards over wooden ones as it's easier to clean, maintain and sanitise a plastic cutting board!
Alright, that's enough about the surface. What about the knife you'll use to cut the whole chicken?
You will need a knife that is not only sharp but is also sturdy and of a larger size, so that it can cut through the bone easily.
There is also the option of using kitchen shears to do the job.
Either way, just select a cutting tool that can cut through the meat and the joints with no resistance in the way! This way you'll also be safe from any potential injuries as using a dull knife can lead to dangerous jerky movements. As an extra top, you can also use kitchen gloves for extra protection from any potential accidents!
So, to summarize, you need the following things to cut a whole chicken:
- A flat, stable and clean surface. Use a plastic cutting board!
- A sharp and sturdy large knife or kitchen shears.
- Kitchen gloves for safety!
Raw Chicken Vs Cooked Chicken
This is the age cold question that has boggled homecooks and sometimes professional cooks alike! No one can decide which whole chicken is the best to cut. Should we cut the whole chicken when it's raw and then cook the pieces or should we first cook the whole raw chicken and then cut it? In our opinion it really depends on your preferences. So we will give you the pros and cons of both and let you decide what is the best option for you!
With Raw Chicken you get:
- The cooking time for chicken is way lesser when it is already cut into pieces. But this comes with a catch, as you will be taking a lot of time to cut a whole raw chicken thanks to all the mess they can create.
- You will be under no pressure to carve a whole chicken in front of your guests. So if you are new to cutting whole chickens, this will be an attractive option for you.
- You can keep the chicken parts you won’t use in cooking. For example you can freeze away your chicken wings for later use!
- If your oven is small in size and can’t fit a whole chicken, then cutting the whole chicken raw is the way to go.
- All the chicken parts will be laid out clearly on the table. So you can clearly get to pick which one you want!
Why you should Cook a Whole Chicken
- You get to show off your chicken cutting skills! If you want to impress your guests, then this is the only way to go!
- It will also be easier to cut a whole cooked chicken as the meat will be tender and there will be no mess to clean up.
- You will get a juicier and more tender chicken if you cook it whole. You can also serve it stuffed with innovative fillings!
- You can cut the parts you need and store away the rest as leftovers.
- A whole cooked chicken will always be more impressive in appearance than cooked chicken parts!
How to cut a whole chicken into 8 Pieces
There are many ways to cut a whole chicken, besides just deciding if you want to cut a whole chicken raw or cooked.
But it's best we start from the basics first, so we will be telling you the standard way of cutting a whole chicken (raw or cooked). This method will give you eight parts in total, which you can use for cooking immediately or store them away.
- Dry your chicken by patting them with paper towels.
- Now with your whole chicken on the cutting board, lay it sideways and lift it upwards facing leg up.
- Then place your sharp knife between the breast and the drumstick, and start cutting through the meat, trailing the lines on your chicken.
- Now comes the tricky part. Hold the leg firmly and bend it until the thigh bone gets dislodged.
- Then slice through the joint and skin to remove the leg from the whole chicken. You can now easily put the chicken on the side and cut away the wing from the whole chicken. Do this whole step on the other side as well.
- Now with your leg pieces, thighs and wings removed, all you are left with is the breasts. Pull up the chicken in an upright position and slam the knife down through the ribs.
- To make it easier, you should fix your knife between the rib bones and then cut downwards. To get breast pieces, just slice through the central region while keeping the skin side against the cutting board. And there you have it, complete eight parts of your whole chicken!
Is there any other way to cut whole chicken?
Yes, there is actually! Spatchcock or butterfly method is also a legit way to cut a whole chicken. It is also a lot easier and lets your chicken cook very uniformly as it will be pressed flat! Just keep in mind that you can use this method to only cut whole raw chicken.
- First of all, get rid of the backbone of your chicken. Use kitchen shears to do it. Just cut along the middle from the base to the neck whole following the lines of the chicken’s spine.
- Now just turn the chicken over and spread it open with a hard press of your hand so that it can lie flat. Now you can cook this chicken in an oven or over a grill!
Chicken is delicious whether it comes whole or in parts. But most times the cut chicken from the shops is just not upto the mark. But now that you know how to cut a whole chicken, you will not be facing that problem anymore! So go ahead and make top quality chicken recipes with the help of your chicken cutting skills!