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Video:How to Debone a Chicken

with Chef James Briscione

Instead of buying cuts of chicken at the store, you can save yourself money by buying a whole chicken and deboning it yourself. See how to debone a chicken.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Debone a Chicken

Hi. I’m James Briscione, Chef Instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, here for About.com. I’m going to show you the best way to debone a chicken.

What You'll Need

All you need is a sharp knife and a chicken and a cutting board. No fancy equipment here. Right, when you first get your chicken home, get it out, get to know it for a second. Figure out what you’re working with. It should have two legs that should be pretty well attached to the body. A breast and two wings.

Separate Legs

OK. First thing we’re going to do is separate the legs from the body. Very simple. You can see they’re pretty loose already. All we have to do is cut through a little bit of skin on the side there and that’s going to really open everything up. You can just bend the leg back till you see the thigh bone pop out and cut straight down that line. Leg should come off just that easy. The same thing on the second side. We’re just cutting a little bit of skin – getting your hands in there. Pop the leg out. And slice right down. Two legs are off. It’s just that easy.

Removing the Breasts

Then, to remove the breast, first thing you want to do is, with your hands just find the keel bone, it’s that big ridge right here in the center of the breast. And, you’re going to put your knife right on top of that. And cut straight down right through the skin. All the way down to the bone. Then, with your knife or with your hands you can pull that away from the keel bone and you’re going to turn your knife to the side and just let it slide right down and along the ribs.

So that comes down like this and so we’re just going to make a couple cuts until you find another bone just like the thigh looked like where it connects to the breast. One smooth cut goes right through. And, again, we have the breast and wing together.

Exact same thing on the other side, right down along the keel bone, pull off to the side. And slice straight down the ribs with the knife as we go. Till we find that joint. One easy cut through and we’re separated.

Separating the Wings

Now, bones are great for making stock. The wings we want to separate from the breast to make that easier to cook. So, we’re going to make one cut, clear that skin, and again, check the joint, find where the two connect and we separate. On this breast again, through the skin. See where that wing is moving. And, one cut, and we separate. Wings, if you’re not in the frying mood, great to go into the stock pot also.

Separating the Thigh and Leg

Now, to separate the thigh and the leg, you want to pull the skin back and find a little line of fat, right there, where the thigh meets the leg. Position your knife right on top of that line and just slide through. It should be that easy to separate the leg and the thigh. If you have to work any harder, you’re probably cutting into bone, so you should reposition the knife and try the cut again. So, again, a little line of fat. We’re going to find that and slice straight through. And there’s your chicken in eight pieces ready to cook. Two legs, two things, two breasts, two wings and bones for stock.

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