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How to Cut a Chicken into Eight Pieces

When you want to prepare the traditional "Coq au Vin" or "Poulet Basquaise", you may want to cut a large chicken into eight pieces. While the process may seem a little intimidating at first, it's not actually as hard as you'd think.

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Ingredients and Equipment

1 large chicken
A large sharp knife
A smaller fileting knife(optional)
Poultry shears or strong scissors


Remove the leg

Remove the legs from the chicken. To do this, place the chicken breast side up, take hold of the leg and cut through the skin and flesh along the line of the joint until it is exposed.

Slice through the joint and continue cutting until the leg has been removed. Repeat the same process for the other leg.

Cut through the joint
Cur the breast in half

Next you need to open the bird and remove the backbone. While holding the bird firmly, starting at the neck, use the shears or strong scissors to cut the breast in half, splitting the breastbone.

You can now open the bird and cut along each side of the backbone to remove it. You will then be left with two breast sections with the wings still attached.

open the bird
Cut backbone from breast

Note: The backbone need not just be discarded. Rather than just waste it, it can be used to make a very tasty stock.

Slice each of the breasts in half so as to separate the wing. Your cut should be parallel to the line of the wing and you should aim to have both the wing and breast portions of roughly even size.

Seperate breast from wing
Seperate drumstick from thigh

Now we separate the thighs from the drumsticks. To do this, simply cut each leg in half through the knee joint.

The final step is to clean up the underside of the two breast pieces. Use a sharp knife to remove any of the rib cage that is still attached to the meat.

You should now have eight roughly even sized chicken pieces that are ready to use.

Tidy up the breast

Preperation time:
Yield: 8 pieces
Recipe By , Flavoursome Delights

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