How to Carve a Chicken

Want to know how to carve that roast chicken like a pro? Read on.

A roast chicken stuffed with lemon in a cast iron skillet on a wooden cutting board.
: Lauren Volo

We’ve all been there. You spent all of Sunday afternoon preparing a roast chicken dinner. The bird is perfectly cooked and the burnished, golden bird has elicited oohs and ahhs from your fellow diners. Everyone is ready to eat. So, now what?

How do you get those eight pieces of carved chicken, while keeping the skin intact and not burning your hands? Thankfully, it’s actually pretty simple and these step-by-step instructions, with how-to photos, will have you carving tableside in no time.—LC Editors

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1. Get the right tools

Lay the chicken on a sturdy . Grab a big fork and a sharp knife.


Global 8-inch Chef Knife

Global 8-inch Chef Knife, $115 on Amazon


2. Carve one leg

A person carving a roast chicken on a cutting board.
: Lauren Volo

Starting on one side, slide your knife between the drumstick and the breast, using your fork to pull the drumstick away. Continue to cut down through the thigh until you hit the hip joint. Press hard to cut through the joint while pulling away with the fork.

3. Split the leg

A person carving a roast chicken on a cutting board.
: Lauren Volo

Cut through the connective joint between the thigh and drumstick. Lay these pieces on a serving tray.


Royal Craft Wood Bamboo Cutting Board

Extra Large Organic Bamboo Cutting Board, $21 on Amazon


4. Remove a breast and wing

A person carving a roast chicken on a cutting board.
: Lauren Volo

Use the fork to find the spine in the center of the breast. Slide your knife just next to the spine until you hit the ribs. Use your fork to peel back the breast, and continue to run your knife just next to the ribs until you hit the wing joint. Press hard to cut through the joint while pulling away with the fork.

5. Separate the wing and breast

A person carving a roast chicken on a cutting board.
: Lauren Volo

Cut through the connective joint between the wing and breast. Lay these pieces on the serving tray.

6. Carve the other side

Repeat on the other side of the chicken. Bring the serving tray to the table, take a deep bow, and get to work eating!

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