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Learn how to joint a raw chicken in just five easy steps. Buying a whole chicken and jointing it yourself means you'll save money and waste less. You'll also save time - use some parts straightaway, and freeze others for later.
To start, you need two simple kitchen tools - a cutting board and a sharp knife. Make sure the knife is really sharp. You need to cut through skin, cartilage and bone. A dull knife makes this difficult, plus you’ll end up with torn instead of cut meat.
Cut off the legs
After emptying the cavity, place the chicken breast-side up on a clean cutting board. Position the bird so the legs are pointing towards you. Pull one leg away from the body and cut down through the skin between the leg and the body. Cut through the joint. Repeat with the other leg.
Here’s a little trick to separate the leg from where it attaches to the body. Think of the joint attachment as a ball and socket. Bend the leg backwards to pop the ball out of the socket.
If you want separate the drumsticks and thighs, bend the leg and cut through the joint.
Cut off the wings
Pull one wing away from the body and cut down through the skin and breast just above the shoulder joint. Cut through the joint to remove the wing. Do the same thing on the other side.
You can leave the wings whole. Or cut through the wing joints to make smaller pieces or in your favourite chicken wings recipe.
Cut off the breast meat
The lower-calorie white meat - the breast - is easy to remove. Turn the chicken breast-side down. Remove the backbone by cutting through the rib cage along one side. Repeat on the other side.
Then cut the whole breast lengthways along the breastbone: you'll get two perfect breast fillets.
Rinse, trim, then cook or store
Rinse the chicken pieces in cold water. Trim off any bits of bone, cartilage and fat.
Now you're ready to cook your favourite chicken dish with the right pieces. Or, you can freeze the pieces in individual packets to use later.
Here's another money-saving tip: If you like to make chicken stock, drop the remainder of the bones, including the neck and giblets, into a saucepan with some water and vegetables. You can freeze homemade stock for use later.