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How to Carve a Roasted Chicken

Posted on April 20, 2014

As we get further and further removed from our food sources, basic techniques that were key in the kitchen for grandma are no longer necessary. Why roast a whole chicken only to have to carve it in the end, when you can purchase an 8-piece cut up chicken just as easily? The answer is that cooking and carving a whole roasted FreeBird chicken is an art. Whole roasts offer crispy skin, great flavor and juicy tender results. Done correctly, it’s a culinary experience you don’t want to miss.

With the right tools and these step-by-step directions, you no longer need to be scared of carving your chicken. Instead, you can master the art in one session. Here’s how:

Step 1. Place your roasted FreeBird on a carving board breast side up and allow to rest for 5 minutes. While chicken is resting, gather your carving tools including a well-sharpened boning knife, a carving fork and a platter or serving plates.

Step 2. First, loosen the legs by cutting the skin between the thigh and the breast with the tip of your knife. Then, pull thighs away from breast down toward the cutting board (one at a time). Find the joint where the thighbone attaches to the carcass and cut straight down to remove the whole leg. Repeat with the other leg.

Step 3. Once the legs are removed, place them skin side down on the cutting board and find the joint that connects the thigh from the drumstick. Cut straight down on that joint and place those pieces on your serving platter. Repeat with second leg.

Step 4. To remove the breasts from the carcass, cut down on either side of the breastbone until you feel the resistance of the cartilage beneath. Using the cartilage as your guide, run your knife down either side of the bird until the breast is separated. Do the same on the alternate side. (You can now dispose the carcass or simmer it to make your own stock.)

Step 5. Place breasts on the cutting board skin side up and pull wings outward. Cut down at the second joint. Transfer wings to serving platter just like this or remove the wing tips by cutting at the joint.

Step 6. Serve breasts whole, cut each into two pieces or slice and fan out onto serving platter. Garnish your beautifully carved FreeBird platter with roasted potatoes, onions and carrots or sprigs of rosemary and thyme.