Knowing how to joint a chicken is a great skill to have. Buying and jointing a whole bird will not only save you pennies, it’s better for the environment and your tastebuds, too.
What’s more, Farmdrop’s slow-grown whole chickens from Fosse Meadows’ Farm and Wood Green Farm are at 15% off until 23 September 2018, making it totally worth the effort. Here’s a guide to help you.
Step 1 | The whole chicken
Choose your chicken wisely. We recommend choosing a slow-grown chicken, such as those reared at Fosse Meadows’ Farm in Leicestershire or Wood Green Farm in Devon. Fosse birds are grown over a minimum of 81 days (that’s over double the age of an average ‘get big quick’ supermarket bird) and a minimum of 70 days at Wood Green, allowing plenty of time for the chickens to roam around their fence-free farm and strengthen their bones. The result? A juicier bird with more naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and collagen, that’s so full of flavour, your tastebuds will agree that’s it’s worth using up every part possible. A slow-grown 2.5kg chicken will give you 5 meals for 2 people.
Step 2 | Wings
Grip the wing at the base and bend to dislocate the joint. Pull the wing away from the bird, and cut around the wing bone to remove the wing. Repeat on the other side.
Step 3 | Thighs or legs
Pull the leg away from the breast, then carefully cut downwards between the leg and breast to open up the joint. Keep going until you reach the joint holding the leg to the rest of the carcass and dislocate.
Cut the leg away from the rest of the bird, making sure to keep the chicken thigh intact. Repeat on the other side.
Step 4 | Drumsticks
Unless you want to keep the legs whole, separate the drumsticks from the thighs. With a knife, expose the joint holding the drumstick to the thigh, then use your hands to dislocate. Cut the drumstick away from the thigh, making sure to keep chicken thigh intact. Repeat with the other leg.
Step 5 | Breasts
Run your knife down one side of the breast bone, slowly cutting the breast away as close as possible to the centre bone.
Once you reach the centre of the carcass, cut around the bone to remove from the breast. Repeat on the other side.
Step 6 | Carcass & Giblets
You’ll now be left with a bare carcass. If your chicken comes with its giblets (like ours always do), don’t throw them away! The liver, heart, kidneys, neck and skin are all wonderfully nutritious and delicious. Simmer the carcass with root veg and peppercorns for a nutritious broth, blitz the livers into a classic paté, use the kidneys to perk up a spag bol, and the neck to make the best gravy ever. Here are some recipes to help you out.
Step 7 | Time to cook!
Now you’ve got your five cuts of meat (breasts, thighs, drumsticks, wings and carcass, plus the giblets) you can start cooking. Check out these ideas for more inspiration. Or if you’re not planning to cook right away, keep refrigerated or freeze and thaw for another day.