How to Carve a Whole Roasted Chicken

Step-by-step instructions to get the most out of your cooked whole chicken.

After your chicken is roasted, transfer it to a clean cutting board and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving. Then, follow these easy step-by-step instructions to carve the chicken into drumsticks, thighs and wings for dark-meat fans and juicy breast meat for the white-meat lovers. Be sure to start with a sharp carving knife and sturdy fork.

Watch: See our chicken & rice casserole


Step 1

Step 1

Place the chicken on a cutting surface. Holding it steady with a carving fork, cut through the skin between the leg and body using a large carving knife.


Step 2

Step 2

Cut through the hip joint, removing the entire leg from the body. Repeat with the other leg.


Step 3

Step 3

Place a leg skin-side down and cut through the joint between the drumstick and thigh. Repeat with the other leg.


Step 4

Step 4

To remove the breast meat, make a long cut horizontally near the base of the chicken.


Step 5

Step 5

Then, hold the chicken near the breastbone with the carving fork. Make a cut along one side of the breast; cut through to the horizontal cut you made at the base of the body. Repeat with the second breast half on the other side of the breastbone.


Step 6

Step 6

Cut the breast meat into slices, if desired.


Step 7

Step 7

Bend the wing away from the body and use a knife to remove the wing piece. Repeat with the other wing. Cut off the tips, if desired.