Cutting Your Chicken
First Step: Legs and Thighs
Place the chicken on a cutting board. Pick it up by a leg and identify the joint, or breaking point, where the leg joins the body. These joints are made of cartilage. That is what you'll be cutting through, NOT bone.
First, cut the outer skin away to reveal the joint. Pull the leg outward until the thigh bone pops out of the hip socket then cut straight down through the surrounding cartilage and remove the entire leg.
If you meet resistance, your knife is probably hitting the bone, so adjust the angle of your knife until you find the cartilage, and press down to sever the leg from the carcass.
To further break down the leg, find the joint as previously instructed, and cut through the cartilage to make two separate pieces, the thigh and the drumstick.
Repeat for the other leg.
Second Step: Wings
Removing the wings is similar to removing the legs. Cut away the skin to identify the joint, then cut through the cartilage to severe the appendage. Repeat for the second wing.
You may break down the wing even further into those familiar “buffalo wing” parts served in restaurants: the drummettes -- the section between the shoulder and the elbow -- and the wingettes, or wing midsection. Don’t throw away the wing tips! Jamie suggests using them for broth.
Third Step: Body/Neck
Next, cut the back away from the breast.
Hold the carcass upright, and run the knife down the center of it, between the rib cage and the shoulder joints, separating the two. You may hit several small rib bones, but go ahead and cut through them.
After you drive the knife through the bird’s body, pull the two sections apart by hand.
Fourth Step: Breast and Tenderloin
Place the breast skin side down, and find the breast bone.
Cut along that center bone, then separate the meat from bone by running your thumb down the bone and pulling the meat off with your hand. Watch for the tenderloin to fall away, as well.