How to Joint a Bird


30 minutes

Serves 4





Place the chicken breast-side down on a chopping board with the neck end away from you. Make a cut through the skin, down the middle of the carcass, from the neck end to just above the parson’s nose. Make a cut on either side of the parson’s nose.

Identify the oysters, which lie on the carcass at the top of the thigh. Make a cut across the top of the oysters to release the sinew holding them in place and release the oysters with your thumb.

Now turn the chicken so it is breast-side up with the neck end away from you. Pull the skin over the breast to ensure it is fully covered. Cut between the drumstick and breast, keeping the knife close to the breast, but on the outside of the carcass bone at the entrance to the cavity, until the joint holding the thigh to the carcass is exposed. Do the same on the other side.

Place your fingers under the thigh and your thumb on top of it then push up with your fingers to ‘pop’ the thigh joint. Repeat on the other side.

Use a pair of kitchen or poultry scissors to cut through the breastbone completely.

Put the chicken on its side and from the point of the breast, using a knife, cut out the ribs, following the fat line around the wing. At the joint cut out the wing joint using scissors.

Now the 4 pieces need to be divided again. Place the leg/thigh pieces skin-side down on the board and use your knife to cut through the joint, using the fat line covering the joint as a guide. If the knife comes into contact with the bone, move the knife a little to the left or right and try again. It should cut cleanly through the joint. Repeat with the second piece.

To divide the breast pieces cut through the meat with your knife, then through the bone with a pair of scissors to leave a diamond-shaped tapering piece of breast and a smaller, but thicker, piece with the wing attached. Trim off the end wing pinion. The chicken should now have been jointed into 8 pieces.

TOP TIP: Trim off any excess fat from the carcass and use to make stock.

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