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How to Carve a Whole Chicken

Carving a whole bird can feel like a daunting task. These steps break it down for you (pun intended).

  1. Cut chicken where leg meets breast, holding knife close to leg quarter to keep plenty of skin covering breast.
  1. Pull leg quarter away from breast while pushing up on joint. Cut through joint and skin to remove leg quarter.
  1. Cut through joint that connects drumstick to thigh. Repeat steps 1 through 3 on second leg quarter.
  1. With cavity facing away from you, locate breastbone. Starting at cavity end of breast, cut just off center of breastbone.
  1. Working from cavity end to neck end and using breastbone as guide, cut straight down along breastbone until you reach rib cage.
  1. Insert your thumb into cut. Gently pull back breast to expose rib cage. Working from cavity end to neck end, cut breast from rib cage. As you cut, angle knife to follow curve of rib cage.
  1. Continue to cut until you reach wing joint. Gently pull breast away from rib cage while pushing up on wing joint from underneath. Cut through wing joint to remove breast and wing.
  1. Placing knife as close to wing bone as possible, cut wing from breast by slicing through skin and connective tissue. Slice 1 side of breast crosswise. Repeat steps 4 through 8 on second side of breast.

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