The Art of Jointing a Chicken: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to cooking a chicken, there’s something satisfying about starting from scratch and jointing the bird yourself. Not only does it save you money, but it also allows you to have complete control over the cuts of meat. If you’re wondering how to joint a chicken, fear not! We’ve got you covered with this step-by-step guide.

The Art of Jointing a Chicken: A Comprehensive Guide
The Art of Jointing a Chicken: A Comprehensive Guide

Getting Started

To begin the process, you’ll need a few tools: a sharp boning knife and a pair of poultry shears. With these in hand, you’re ready to transform a whole chicken into eight delicious parts.

Step 1: Removing the Wishbone

First, place the chicken breast side up on a cutting board. Make shallow incisions on either side of the wishbone. Once you’ve done that, snap the wishbone out and remove it. This step will make it easier to carve the chicken later on.

Step 2: Cutting Through the Breast Bone

Next, grab your poultry shears and cut down through the breast bone. With a little bit of pressure, the shears should cut through relatively easily. Open up the chicken, as if it were a book, and then flip it over and flatten it on the cutting board while pressing down to crack the spine.

Step 3: Removing the Backbone

Turn the chicken back over and use the knife to cut down each side of the spine. You may need to apply some pressure to cut through the bone. Once the backbone is removed, set it aside to make a flavorful stock later on.

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Step 4: Separating the Thighs and Breasts

Now, you have two chicken halves. It’s time to separate the thighs from the breasts. Start by turning one half right side up and slicing through the skin all the way down to the bone at the crease of the drumstick. Once you’ve cut through the skin and flesh, you should be able to locate the joint. Apply firm pressure to cut through the joint. If it doesn’t cut easily, you may not be at the joint yet. Adjust your knife slightly until you find the right spot.

Trim away any excess fat and skin, and then proceed to cut away the wing from the breast. Again, use the blade of your knife to feel for the joint. With a little practice, this will become an easy task.

Step 5: Separating the Drumsticks

Lastly, it’s time to separate the drumsticks from the thighs. Similar to the previous step, locate the joint and cut through it. Repeat the process with the other half of the chicken.

And just like that, you’ve successfully jointed a chicken into eight parts! Now you’re ready to cook each piece to perfection, whether it’s for a flavorful roast, a comforting stew, or a sizzling stir-fry. The possibilities are endless!


Q: Can I use a different type of knife for jointing a chicken?
A: While a boning knife is preferred for this task, you can use a sharp chef’s knife if that’s what you have on hand. Just be sure to exercise caution and maintain a firm grip on the chicken as you make your cuts.

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Q: Can I save time by purchasing pre-cut chicken parts?
A: Absolutely! If convenience is a top priority for you, pre-cut chicken parts are readily available in most grocery stores. However, jointing a chicken yourself allows you to customize the cuts and can be a rewarding culinary experience.


Jointing a chicken may seem intimidating at first, but with the right tools and a little practice, it becomes second nature. By following this guide, you’ll be able to transform a whole chicken into smaller, more manageable pieces, ready to be cooked to perfection. So, roll up your sleeves, grab those tools, and get ready to impress your family and friends with your newfound chicken jointing skills!

For more cooking tips, delicious recipes, and a peek into the world of Hook’d Up Bar and Grill, visit Hook’d Up Bar and Grill. Happy cooking!

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