How to Carve a Roasted Chicken

Put these carving tips to work for an elegant dinner that’s sure to impress.


Carving a roasted chicken may seem daunting, but with just a few well-placed cuts it's really quite easy. Whether you’re slicing a store-bought rotisserie chicken or a home-roasted bird, all you need is a good knife and a big appetite.

TIP

A boning knife is recommended because of it's control and angle when making cuts close to the bone. If you don't own a boning knife, a large or medium-sized chef's knife will work just fine.

Step 1

Make Your First Cut


Place your chicken breast-side-up on a cutting board. Pull one of the legs slightly away from the rest of the bird and carefully slice through the leg meat and skin.

TIP

If you’re roasting a chicken at home, you’ll want to let it rest in the roasting pan for 10-15 minutes after it’s cooked and before slicing.

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Step 2

Pull Back the Leg & Thigh


With a fair bit of force, pull back the leg to expose the hip joint. Keep pulling until the round end of the hip bone in the joint pops up.

Step 3

Cut the Leg & Thigh


Place your knife between the round end of the hip bone and the chicken body. Push your knife straight down until the leg is detached.

Step 4

Separate the Leg & Thigh


Place your knife along the natural line between the drumstick and thigh. Forcefully push straight down and cut through the joint. Separate the drumstick from the thigh and place on your serving platter. Repeat the process with the remaining leg.

TIP

You may need to push with a little force to cut through the bone. Don't be afraid to put some muscle into your slicing.

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Step 5

Cut Along the Breast Bone


Slide your knife along one side of the center breastbone at the front of the breast cavity. Move your knife from the front to the back of the chicken while simultaneously pulling the breast meat away from the bone. Repeat with the remaining breast.

Step 6

Slice the Breast Meat


Place the breast meat skin-side-up on your cutting board and remove the wing portion. Leaving a bit of skin attached to each piece, use a saw-like motion to cut the breast meat into smaller pieces. Repeat with the remaining breast.

Step 7

Arrange Your Platter


Arrange the carved chicken pieces on a serving platter. Pair the chicken with whatever side you’d like, and enjoy.

Find more how-tos here »

Plus: Get the full recipe for this roast chicken »

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About Kitchen Is My Playground

Tracey is the creator of the popular blog The Kitchen Is My Playground, which she founded in 2011. Her goal is to share recipes with other home cooks looking to create flavorful (and somewhat adventurous) food for their families and friends. Connect with her on PinterestFacebook, Twitter or Google+.