How to Butcher, Filet, Butterfly, and More

Use this simplified guide for techniques to break down a chicken, cook a whole rabbit, debone anchovies, butterfly trout, and more.

It's not as hard as it sounds—but like any cleaning task, you'll want to use a good, sharp knife. See Fileting Sardines »
This technique uses a thin-bladed paring knife to carefully scrape away the tiny hairlike bones. See Deboning Anchovies »
2. Suspend chicken by its leg; cut through skin connecting it to carcass. (The weight of the bird, when it's held off the board, makes it easier to cut.)
It's easy, and worthwhile, to filet your own salmon: not only is doing so far more economical than buying presliced filets, but the practice gives you access to all the tasty, overlooked parts of the fish, such as the belly, head, and collars. See How to Filet a Salmon »
Butterflying a whole trout entails removing the ribs and backbone in order to lay the fish flat. Use a sharp, flexible knife to best navigate the tiny bones. See Butterflying Trout »

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