Carving Chicken

Before carving the chicken it should rest for 15 to 20 minutes to allow the juices to be redistributed throughout the meat, which will result in a firmer, juicier and easier to carve chicken. Choose a carving knife that is long enough to cut the entire length of the breast. It is important that the knife be extremely sharp so it allows thin slices to be carved and easily cuts through the joints when necessary. Shown below are the steps to carving a whole chicken.

  Allow the chicken to rest for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. The resting time will allow the juices to be redistributed throughout the meat, which will result in a firmer, juicier and easier to carve chicken. The chicken should be tented with aluminum foil during the resting period to retain the heat.


After allowing the chicken to rest, place the chicken on the cutting board breast side up and begin carving by cutting through the skin and meat between the thigh and breast.

Using a carving knife, pry the thigh away from the body and locate the joint connecting the leg to the body. Cut through the leg joint, detaching it from the body.

  On smaller birds, the thigh and leg can be served as one piece or it can be cut into separate pieces. Separate the two by cutting at the joint.

  Remove the wing by cutting through the joint that attaches the wing to the body, keeping the cut as close to the body as possible. Remove the wing tip, if desired, before serving.
Begin to carve the breast meat by running the knife horizontally under the breast, cutting the entire length of the bird. Make sure to cut all the way in to the bone.  
Cut the breast vertically starting at the top along the side of the breast bone. Cut by following vertically down along the breast bone until you reach the bottom where the horizontal cut was made.
Remove the breast from that side of the chicken and place it on the cutting board to slice. Using a fork to hold the breast in place, slice across the breast, cutting across the grain of the meat to make the slices the desired thickness. Cutting across the grain shortens the fibers and provides a more tender piece of meat.
Repeat the carving process on the opposite side in the same manner.  

Place all of the pieces on a platter and serve while warm.


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