Deconstructing a Chicken

Lay the chicken on its back. Landon Nordeman
Spread one leg away from the breast so that the skin becomes taut. Landon Nordeman
Using a knife, slice the skin in between the leg and the breast, allowing the leg to hang free. Landon Nordeman
Pull the leg down and away from the body until the joint is visible. Landon Nordeman
Then, tug the leg behind the body until the joint breaks and is exposed. Landon Nordeman
Repeat with the other leg. At this point the legs should hang free from the body but still be attached by the flesh. Landon Nordeman
Turn the chicken onto its breast, keeping the legs spread apart. Landon Nordeman
With a knife, score a line on the skin starting from the cut at the hip, going across to the backbone and down the backbone to the tail. Landon Nordeman
Then retrace that score with your knife, slicing and separating the leg from the body. Landon Nordeman
Repeat with the other leg; then set the whole legs aside, skin side up. Landon Nordeman
Keeping the chicken breast side down, spread out its wings. Landon Nordeman
Grasp one wing and pull it out, so that the skin between the breast and the wing becomes taut. Landon Nordeman
Holding the upper bone of the wing, insert your knife where the wing meets the back and cut through the joint. Landon Nordeman
Remove the wing completely and set it aside. It should come off with no resistance. Landon Nordeman
Repeat the process with the other wing. Landon Nordeman
Once you have removed the legs and wings, all that will remain is the breasts and backbone. Landon Nordeman
Using your knife, make a slice down one side of the backbone, from the neck to the tail. Landon Nordeman
Repeat on the other side of the backbone, until the flesh is loose from the bone and the backbone is completely separate from the breast meat. Landon Nordeman
Place the chicken breast side down. Insert your knife at the center of the breastbone at the neck and forcefully cut it, down the length of the breastbone to the tail. Landon Nordeman
When you’ve finished, separate the two breasts and put them aside so that they are lying skin side up. Landon Nordeman
Take one of the reserved legs and place it on the cutting surface in front of you. Landon Nordeman
Grasp the leg in one hand and the thigh in another, pulling the whole leg taut so that you can feel the knee joint. Landon Nordeman
Insert your knife into the indentation where the leg and thighbone meet. Landon Nordeman
Cut straight down through the joint, completely separating the leg from the thigh. Repeat with the other leg. Landon Nordeman
You should now have eight pieces in total: two wings, two breasts, two thighs, and two legs. The backbone may be used for making chicken stock: either use it fresh or place it in a resealable bag and keep it in the freezer until you’re ready to make stock. Landon Nordeman