If the chicken was frozen, be sure it is completely thawed. Remove the fresh or thawed chicken from its package.
Generally, a whole chicken will contain a giblet package that needs to be removed from its cavity, unless it was previously removed during thawing. If the giblets are to be used, rinse with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.
Check the cavity of the chicken at the tail end to see if the kidneys have been removed. The kidneys are the dark reddish colored objects located on the back side of the cavity near the tail. If they have not been removed, use your thumbs or fingers to force them out.
The chicken should then be rinsed thoroughly inside and out with cold water.
Check neck and tail area for excess fat. Trim the excess away and discard.
Pat the chicken dry using a paper towel. It is now ready to be stuffed, seasoned or prepared in some manner for cooking.
When finished, be sure all utensils and work areas are cleaned and sanitized properly.