So you have a whole chicken that you’d like to cook. Where do you start?! Cutting up a whole chicken can be daunting for a cook with less experience or who usually goes for the pre-cut drums and breasts at the supermarket.

So here to offer some detailed tips is Chef Blake from the Rada Kitchen. He’ll show you how to disassemble a chicken from start to finish. Check out the video at the end of the instructions if you need more help!

How to Cut Up a Chicken

Starting with your whole chicken, remove whatever excess parts (neck, gibblets) are in the cavity. You’ll also find a chunk of fat which can be used to make gravy if you want. You can also use the carcass to make chicken stock if you’d like.

there may be leftover chicken parts inside the chicken, make sure to get them out

Open up one of the legs and cut down using the Rada Super Parer. There will be two “ping-pong” sized chunks of meat beneath the leg called the “oyster.” To get the leg, thigh and oyster, cut as much as you can as close as you can to the body.

Cut the legs apart

Slice the breast from the rib-cage and bones. Leave the rest. If you’ll notice the tenderloin part on the breast, that is the chicken tender if you’re interested in making those.

Removing chicken breasts

Separate the wing from the breast at the joint.

Preparing a chicken wing

Check out Chef Blake’s other video to learn how you can turn your newly broken-down chicken into fried chicken.

What a Super Knife!

a great knife that can be used to cut up a number of different things

The Super Parer is the largest paring knife at Rada Cutlery. It’s large handle and blade allows for a multitude of different ways that it can be used in the kitchen. It can best be used for cutting fruits and vegetables, but as Chef Blake showed above, it is also great for slicing up any kind of meat you may be preparing. All our knives are made with high-quality stainless steel blades that will last you a life time!

Check out all of our paring knives on the Rada website!

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Rada Cutlery is the best fundraising partner for any nonprofit group! Every year, tens of thousands of groups partner with Rada to raise money for noble causes. Churches, clubs, schools, sports teams, civic organizations, and more make the money they need through a Rada fundraiser. Rada fundraisers offer high profits, fantastic products, and unbeatable customer service!

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Check out the Rada Cutlery EASY guide to learn more about why a Rada fundraiser is what’s best for your group!

Rada's fundraising EASY guide.

A Lesson in Chicken

Watch Chef Blake’s video to learn how to cut up a chicken from start to finish.

Start Transcript:

Hello, welcome to Rada’s Test Kitchen. My name is Blake and today we’re going to be breaking down a whole chicken. We’ve got here a roaster chicken, grade-A. This is a free-range, antibiotic- hormone-free chicken. We’re going to break it into 8 pieces so you’re able to fry it, roast it, do whatever you’d like. Our next video will be frying chicken, so if you use this, you’ll know how to fry the chicken.

Most of the time, when you get the chicken, the neck and the giblets are shoved up in the cavity. Pull those out. Reach in there and pull out any excess stuff the machine didn’t get more or less.

In the cavity around this area, there’s usually a chunk of fat. That’s good for warming up and making a chicken gravy. Any fat is the good part.

So I start out with it facing me like so and cutting using the Rada Super Paring Knife. Get that leg opened up like so. Cut it down. Flip it over. Pop that leg out of the socket. And on the back side here, there’s two almost ping-pong sized chunks of meat called the oyster. That’s an important, nice part to have. So if you take a knife with a narrow point like that, it’s easy to get down in there and go around. So once you get that, flip it back over and right where it was popped, pull it straight back and you’ve got the oyster and the thigh and the leg. Set that off to the side, open that up like so. Flip it over, pop that out of its socket. Take the blade. Come around the oyster. Go straight down right there. You’ve got your thigh and leg like so. Set that off to the side. Go back to the top part here.

There’s many different ways of doing that. With all the culinary programs and high school education, they have you cut off the back but I’m going to leave that there. I’m going to take the breast off and leave the rib cage and the rest of the bones off the breast. So just straight down. You can see I’m just going to pull that meat aside is all.

Now we’ve got the breast and the wing, we’re going to separate those two. You can see the joint. The wing, the breast. Go to the other side here. This whole carcass you can put it in cold water, bring it up nice and slow, take it out, discard the water, fill it back up with cold water and that’s how you make a chicken stock.

So here the breast has the tenderloin on it. That’s the chicken tender. It’s got the skin on it. The wings, you have an option. If you’re going to make stock, you can discard the tips and put those in with the stock. This is where your wings come in. You have your two bone wings and your chicken drummie with the one bone. This is our thigh. You can see here that there’s this line that comes here and that’s what follows this bone. This follows that open spot where you can just take your blade right on the inside and cut the two apart. Clean that up a little bit. Skin on, there’s your thigh.

If you wanted to take the bone out, simply run along that line. Take the bone right out of the thigh. Pretty easy to do this one. So now you’ve got a boneless thigh there.

We’ll take this part again here, find that line there right on the inside. For your soup. Got your leg, your thigh. Now we’ll do the wing one more time. Taking the tip off, you want to be able to find where it hinges so you can cut it. I just visualize it as I’m looking at that wing like so.

So here on the cutting board, we have the deconstructed chicken. And we have the carcass, one of the bones I took out of the thigh, the wing tips, and all that stuff can be a stock. Here we have the wing part deconstructed so you can make barbecued wings. The two thighs, the two breasts and the two legs. This should be able to save you a little money, especially if you’re cooking for a lot of people rather than having to buy all legs or whatever.

I encourage you to stay tuned to the next video. It’s fried chicken. Thank you for watching.

End of Video Transcript