How to Properly Cut a Raw Chicken


Whole raw chicken on the chopping board with a knife

Let’s admit that cutting a chicken can be very intimidating. That’s why I wanted to take some time to address how to properly cut a raw chicken in today’s Kitchen Basics 101. Assuming you’re cutting a whole chicken, here are some tips to help you out. One reason for buying a whole chicken is that it will  help you save money. By cutting it into smaller pieces you can freeze parts of the chicken for later or use it for multiple dishes.

#1. Sprawling Out the Chicken

Sorry for the description but you will want to have all parts of the chicken lying flat on a cutting board.

#2. Separating the Wings from the Breast

The wings are the first part of the chicken you’ll want to remove.

#3. Removing the Legs from the Chicken

Raw chicken legs are of no use to a chicken that needs cooked, so the next part is to cut the legs off of the chicken. The leg may be a little harder to remove than the wings, so just take your time cutting, wiggling, and removing it.

#4. Separating the Thigh and Drumstick

After you’ve taken the leg off the chicken, you’ll want to cut it up even more. At this point you will be separating the drumstick and the thigh.

#5. Removing the Backbone

I’m not sure this is anyone’s favorite step of cutting up a chicken, but it must be done. The backbone can be removed by cutting from the neck down the backbone on each side.

#6. Cutting the Breast of the Chicken Cutting the breast of the chicken in half is no easy task. It will take some force to cut through the bone. If you desire, you can but the two in second halves.

Cutting up a chicken is enough to make you sweat but so worth the effort in saving a little extra dough. 


  1. says

    Or, get the hubs to do it. I can’t cut it up anymore because of my neck…so I have to get the hubs to do it. He does a great job too…does it like you ;)

  2. says

    A great post! I have to admit I know buying a whole chicken and cutting it up myself is far cheaper than buying the cut pieces, but it has always intimidated me! I think maybe I’ll give it a go now.

  3. says

    I am 49 years old and have NEVER cut up a chicken! I used to watch my mother and grandmothers do it, but I have not attempted this kitchen task. I’m pinning and going to give it a try! Thanks for sharing. Coming to you from TBT!

  4. says

    I’ve always been intimidated by cutting up a whole chicken so I just buy it already cut up. Heck I can’t even carve one once it’s cooked without annihilating it. LOL. Thanks for sharing your tips-maybe now I can find the confidence to try.

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