So you have a whole chicken and your recipe calls for pieces? No worries! It doesn't take a butcher to break down a chicken. When cutting it into pieces, use the chicken's anatomy as a guide: The pieces will separate easily at the joints with little effort. The chicken can be cut in to six, eight (legs are cut into drumsticks and thighs), or ten pieces (the breasts are each cut in half). Check out our step-by-step guide to see how to break down a chicken.
First, remove the legs by cutting through the skin between each breast and thigh. Pop the thighbone out of the socket and cut the leg off.
Next, Divide the legs by turning them skinside down and cutting along the fat line through the joint to separate the thigh from the drumstick.
Remove the wings by pulling each wing to expose the joint; cut between the joint and the breast to remove the wing.
Remove the breasts with a pair of kitchen shears. Cut through the bone on either side to separate breast from the back.
Divide the breasts by cutting them apart with kitchen shears. Cut each breast in half if you want four portions.