How To Break Down A Chicken – A comprehensive video tutorial showing you how to carve and slice up a whole chicken into 8 pieces, saving the carcass for bone broth, how I store the cut up chicken, and how I clean up after.

Watch How To Break Down a Whole Chicken Step-By-Step Video

Products Used

These are my favorite kitchen items that I use when breaking down whole chickens:

  • 4 Cup Glass Tupperware: I store my cut up chicken breasts and chicken thighs in this 4 cup tupperware
  • 8 Cup Glass Tupperware: I store my cup up chicken drumsticks + wings together in this 8 cup tupperware
  • Chef’s Knife: I love this chef’s knife! Perfect size, stays sharp and very affordable.
  • Knife Sharpener: I use this on my chef’s knife once a week to keep it sharp.
  • Organic Bamboo Cutting Board: The XL size is amazing! Plenty of room, and I love the liquid drip catcher around the edge so no drips get on my counters. It’s only $20 on Amazon Prime!

I keep the cuts of chicken in the fridge. They will keep for 1 week.

Cleaning Up After Breaking Down a Whole Chicken

I wash my cutting board and chef’s knife with Branch Basics (code TASTESLOVELY for 10% off any starter kit!) foaming hand wash (which I use as my dish soap as well!) and a dish brush.

I then spray the soap off with water, and spray the board and knife with Branch Basics All Purpose Spray. After the spray sits for a minute, I wipe it off with a paper towel.

I’ll also use the Branch Basics All Purpose Spray on my counters where I broke down the chickens.

Breaking down your own chicken is much easier than you think. Let me show you how easy it is!

I love carving up my own whole chicken because

    • It is the most economical
    • You can butcher the chicken exactly how you like it
    • avoid food waste by using every part of the bird

2 hands holding a whole chicken

Save Money By Breaking Down A Whole Chicken

I’ve already shared my love of Butcherbox (which I highly recommend!) with all of you. It is where I source the highest quality free range, hormone and antibiotic free chicken. It is the only place I will buy chicken.

One of the my money I saving tips, and how get the most value out of my Butcherbox order is by ordering the whole bird. I do the Big Custom Box, getting 8 whole chickens (along with other cuts of pork and beef). I break down each whole chicken myself, which results in 2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 wings, 2 drumsticks, plus the carcass I use to make homemade bone broth. Such a great savings!


a whole chicken that has been cut down to 8 pieces

Break Down the Whole Chicken To Get The Exact Cuts You Like

Being able to butcher your own whole chicken will allow you to get the exact cuts of chicken you like.

One of my favorite chicken cuts is skin-on boneless chicken breasts. You almost never see this in stores because the chicken breasts are always skinless and boneless. But by butchering the whole chicken myself, I can get my very favorite cut!

Same with skin on, bone-in chicken thighs.

Feel free to adjust the carving technique I demonstrate in the tutorial video to suit your personal preference. You can easily take the skin off any cut, as well as remove any bones.

Storing the a carved up chicken for the refrigerator


Homemade Bone Broth In an Instant Pot

Avoid Food Waste By Using Every Part of the Whole Chicken

I try to avoid food waste as much as possible. Not only to save money, but because it feels better for the planet and the sacrifice of the animal.

By breaking down the whole chicken, I’m able to use every cut of meat for meals, plus use the whole carcass to make homemade bone broth. Here is my recipe for homemade bone broth, it has a recipe video too!

Homemade bone broth is SO MUCH more flavorful and delicious than anything you will buy in the store. Amazing to use in soups, sauces, or even just to sip on since it is packed with protein, vitamins and minerals. Great for your gut health and immunity too!

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