There’s more than one way to carve a roast chicken, but this technique is one of our favorites because it gives you boneless breast meat that you can slice across the grain, if you like.
1. Forcefully bend a leg away from the body until the joint pops apart. Use a sharp boning knife to sever the leg from the body, cutting through the separated joint.
2. As you separate the leg, be sure to get the “oyster,” a tasty nugget of meat toward the back of the chicken just above the thigh. Use the tip of the knife to scrape it free from its indentation in the body.
3. Separate the drumstick from the thigh by cutting through the joint with a chef’s knife. It should be fairly easy to cut through the joint. If the knife meets resistance, reposition the blade slightly and try again.
4. Begin separating one side of the breast from the body by cutting along the breastbone with the tip of your boning knife. Work from the tail end of the bird toward the wing end. When you hit the wishbone, angle the knife and cut down along the wishbone toward the wing. Then make a cut between the breast and the wing.
5. Finish separating the breast by simultaneously pulling back on the meat and using little flicks of the knife tip to cut the meat away from the body. Finally, cut through the last of the skin holding the breast onto the body. If you want smaller pieces, set the breast on the cutting board and, holding the knife at a 45 degree angle, slice it crosswise, either in half or into thin slices.
6. Trim off the wingtips with a chef’s knife and then cut the wing pieces from the body.