Simple Butchering Techniques

Use this gallery of techniques, including everything from butchering rabbit and cutting chicken to butterflying trout and deboning anchovies, to best break down a variety of proteins.

Break Down a Chicken

Over the years, Jacques Pépin has honed this efficient technique for cutting up a chicken. His secret? He does as much work with his hands as with his knife, finding where the bird naturally separates, before cutting. See Jacques Pépin on How to Cut Up a Chicken »

Butcher a Rabbit

Rabbit is a great starting point for cooks looking to extend their repertoire to butchering. What’s more, buying a whole animal from your butcher or at the farmers’ market (or online) and breaking it down yourself is more economical, because you pay more per pound when someone else does the work. **See How to Butcher a Rabbit »**

Filet a Salmon

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 »

Butterfly Whole Trout

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 »

Filet Sardines

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 »

Debone Anchovies

This technique uses a thin-bladed paring knife to carefully scrape away the tiny hairlike bones. See Deboning Anchovies »