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How to Cut a Chicken into Pieces

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Remove the backbone by cutting along both sides with a pair of kitchen shears.

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You can buy pre-cut chicken parts, but you’ll save some money if you buy whole birds and cut them yourself.
All you need is a sharp chef’s knife and kitchen shears. Here’s how to do it:

How to Cut Chicken into Pieces How to Cut Chicken into Pieces
Step 1: Remove the backbone by cutting along both sides with a pair of kitchen shears. Discard it or freeze for another use, like chicken broth.   Step 2: Flip the chicken so the breast is up and press on the breast with your hand to flatten it slightly. Using a chef’s knife, cut down through the breastbone with some force to separate the halves.
How to Cut Chicken into Pieces How to Cut Chicken into Pieces
Step 3: Cut the breast halves from the legs at the natural separation below the breast.   Step 4: Using the kitchen shears again, cut the wings from the breasts.

Photos: Scott Phillips

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