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Tips on Deboning a Chicken

As leading catering butchers in Sussex, Kent, and Surrey – we know a thing or two about meat preparation. All of our team are experts in perfectly carving the meat from all types of animal.

Chicken is most certainly the meat of choice for households up and down the UK. Statistics from 2014 suggest that over 95% of the UK population eat chicken once or twice a week.

When presented with a whole chicken to carve, many people have a haphazard approach to cutting meat from the bone. Whilst this does produce results, it doesn’t help you get the most from the meat. That’s why we’ve put together some handy tips on how to debone a chicken.

deboning a chicken

Deboning a Chicken vs. Breaking Down

When presented with a whole chicken, there are two things you can do to prepare it for cooking. Deboning is the process of simply removing all the bones from the chicken. On the other hand, breaking down the chicken is cutting it into various parts with the bones still inside.

Equipment Needed for Deboning a Chicken

In order to debone a chicken, you’ll only need a couple of tools; a sharp knife and a pair of scissors or shears. You should also have a clean chopping board.

You’ll also need a boning knife, which has a long, thin and flexible blade in order to cut through ligaments and meat from the bone.

Deboning the chicken

Rather than cutting hard and deep into the meat; use small and shallow cuts to slowly and carefully extract the meat from the bone. You’ll be much more successful in getting a nice, clean cut, starting off this way.

Next, remove the liver, heart, neck and gizzard from the body cavity and reserve for your chicken stock. You will be using all the little bits and scraps for stock.

With your shears cut the wing tips off at the first joint and put to one side.

Keeping the breast side up, pull back the neck skin, exposing the breast meat at the neck cavity opening. Here you should be able to feel the wishbone through the meat at the opening. Starting at the top, with your knife, carefully cut behind the wishbone all the way down on both sides. Continue to trim until the wishbone comes free.

Then turn the chicken breast side down. Start by cutting at the centre of the backbone from head to tail. Next, following the lines of the ribcage, continue separating the meat from the cage on both sides. Trim as close to the cage as possible and the stop when you get to the wing and leg joints.

Using your shears to detach the leg and wing joints from the cage. Then continue to separate the meat from the bone following the contours of the cage around to the breast; until it begins to become free from the cage. Holding the cage in one hand, continue to trim around the breast until the cage comes out.

Removing the thigh bone can be tricky. From inside the chicken, carefully trim and push the meat down the length of the thigh bone until it reaches the drumstick. You are basically taking the thigh bone out from inside the bird. Separate the thigh bone from the drumstick and then remove. Leave the drumsticks intact, they will be removed after you roast your chicken.

And there you have it!

Make use of the Whole Chicken

You can easily make the most of the whole chicken by using the bones and carcass to make Chicken stock for the meal. This is a simple thing to do to make sure you’re making the most of the joint.

Looking for High-Quality Chicken for your Pub or Restaurant?

If you own a pub or restaurant in Sussex, Kent, or Surrey and looking for high-quality chicken or any other types of poultry – then contact Burts Catering Butchers by calling 01424 730417 or email today.

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