Do You Cut Up Whole Chicken?


Do you….
….cut up whole chicken?

In a supermarket world where prepared chicken, cut in handy pieces–thighs, wings, drumsticks, breasts, boneless, skinless–is spread before us, why cut up your own? Whole chicken is cheaper per pound–most of the time. Not always. There are great sale prices on cut chicken sometimes, particularly on chicken breasts, though this doesn’t usually occur with boneless, skinless breasts. It’s very easy to make boneless, skinless breasts when cutting up your own chicken. You also get all the extra “goodies” when cutting up a whole chicken–the neck and gizzards etc to make your own stock. Sometimes I make stock right away, sometimes I don’t. If I don’t want to make stock immediately, I freeze the stock parts until I collect from several whole chickens and make it all at once.

Here, yesterday, I was cutting up a whole chicken to fry. I almost always separate the wings into a separate freezer bag, building up a collection of wings until I have a wing fest night. I put the neck and gizzards in a separate freezer bag to save for making stock later. The rest of the pieces, for frying, were placed in a bag with milk and placed in the fridge for frying in the evening.
There are all kinds of videos on YouTube for cutting up whole chicken. My favorite one is from Gourmet Magazine.

I cut up whole chicken exactly as directed in this video except for how I do the breasts. I make boneless breasts and do the breasts in quarters instead of halves.

So, do YOU cut up whole chicken? (It only takes about five minutes, swear!)


  1. Louise says:

    Yes, I do cut up my own chicken. I agree that it’s cheaper that way.I can cut a chicken up in no time. I like the idea of separating the wings and saving them for a wing night.

  2. denisestone says:

    Why add milk to your wings?

  3. heidiannie says:

    I do cut up my chicken. And I never buy boneless chicken breasts because I can get the filets myself so easily and then I still have the bones and skin for broth- PLUS if you are making a stew it is better to cook the breast on the bone or it will end up tough.
    I soak my chicken in buttermilk or add some vinegar to the milk- it seems to tenderize it better.

  4. Brenda says:

    I have to admit I usually buy already cut up chicken. I’ve tried to cut up a whole one before and massacred the chicken. After watching that video (great video btw) I will be attempting this again. Here in AZ I can get whole chickens for .99/lb. This is the way to go. Thanks so much for posting the video.

  5. mommafox says:

    I rarely buy cut up chicken, unless it is a really low price. My mom raised chickens and froze a lot. (seemed like hundreds when I was a kid)Of course we had to be a part of the whole process. Killing, cleaning cutting up and packaging to take to the big freezer at the locker in town.(The most terrifying place I have ever been.) Always afraid the door would close and no one would find us until we were frozen to death.

  6. Auntie Linda says:

    We get our chicken from a local pastured chicken & turkey farm, as part of a CSA. They come as whole, frozen chickens. I’ve successfully cut them up by partially thawing them, and then refreezing the parts, with no ill effects to the chicken (as long as they are only partially thawed). Sometimes you just need the pieces-parts! But mostly, we roast or rotisserie them, and after the first meal, use the meat in salads/sandwiches/enchiladas, etc. all week. I use the carcases for stock. My dog LOVES the livers/kidneys as special treats.

  7. Sue, a Florida Farm Girl says:

    I know how to cut up a chicken but since we choose to eat only the white meat, that’s all we buy.

  8. holstein woman says:

    Since I raise them, yes, and I taught 7th and 8th graders in school how to cutup chicken.

  9. Joell says:

    I leaned how to cut a chicken at a very early age, I rarely purchase cut up chicken unless it is a very good price on parts that we like.

  10. Glenda says:

    I do because I like the way Mom did it; separate wish bone from the breast.
    With chickens today I usually cut the breast in half.

  11. lavenderblue says:

    I have to agree with Brenda, when I try to cut up a whole chicken, I make chicken mush. I expect much of the problem comes from a dull knife. And it would take a great many chickens to get enough of the parts that my people like.

    If I buy a whole chicken I usually stew it, pick the meat off and make other things with the shredded meat.

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