Buying a whole chicken and cutting it into pieces your self saves a lot of money. You will also get a lot more flavor from the bones in the chicken and you’ll have a carcass for making stock to use in soups or sauces. You definitely get a lot more bang for your buck. Cutting the bird really does not take long. The more you do it, the faster you will get. I think it took about 5 minutes to cut the bird up below.
1 whole chicken
A sharp knife, kitchen cleaner for cleaning up
Remove the chicken from the packaging and pat dry with a paper towel. Place the chicken breast-side up with the wings closest to you.
Grasping onto a wing, pull it outward to help you find the joint and run your knife through the skin and flesh at the joint area. Pop the joint and cut along the remaining skin and flesh to remove the wing. Do the same on the other side.
Now remove the thigh/leg quarters. Cut down along the back end of each breast where the thigh attaches. Grab both legs and pop the joints where the legs attach to the back. Now turn the bird over to see where the thigh attaches to the backbone. Holding the thigh and leg together you should see a slight indentation where the joint connects the thigh to the backbone. Slice through the joint. Repeat on the other side.
To separate the leg and thigh squeeze them together to find the joint, then slice though it.
Turn the bird back over so the breast side is up. With the knife along one side of the backbone slice the breast meat away from the ribcage, curving the knife with the curve of the ribcage to remove the meat in one piece. Repeat on the other side.
Freeze the carcass in a zip top bag to later make stock. Or use it to make stock immediately.
Now you are ready to cook your chicken pieces! Or, package them up tightly and freeze for a later use.
Clean all surfaces and utensils used in butchering your chicken thoroughly.