Follow these steps to perfectly butcher a whole chicken.
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Step 1: Clean the Chicken
Remove the chicken from its packaging. Remove the inside packet (contains neck, gizzards, and heart). Rinse the chicken with cold water. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
**Based on comments I would like to add this blurb: Water droplets can carry salmonella from the chicken to other surfaces. One thing I did not mention in my original instructable, is I will always disinfect the sink and surfaces around the sink when I am finished rinsing the chicken. Rinsing the chicken should also be done carefully not to splash water on to other surfaces in the kitchen. I prefer to rinse the chicken, however this step can be skipped. Rinsed or not, be sure to clean all surfaces that may have came in contact with juice from the chicken packaging or water droplets from rinsing.**
Step 2: Remove the Chicken Wings
Place the chicken breast side down on the cutting board with the wings facing toward your body. Grab the left wing firmly with your left hand. With the knife in your right hand make a cut at the crease between the wing and the chicken breast. Follow the wing bone with your knife till you reach the end of the wing bone. Then pull on the wing with enough force to lift the wing bone away from the chicken. Use your knife to go under the wing bone and continue to follow the wing bone up the other side of the wing. Stop following the wing bone once the wing is fully removed from the chicken. Repeat these same steps to remove the right wing.
Step 3: Remove the Chicken Legs
Flip the chicken over so the breast is now facing up. At the same time, turn the chicken so the legs are facing your body. Grab the left leg firmly and pull the leg away from body, then slice through the skin between breast and drumstick.Turning the chicken slightly on its side, bend the leg back until thighbone pops out of its socket. Now turn the chicken completely on its side and start cutting the leg off starting at the crease in between the tail and the leg. Once you reach the thigh bone with the knife stop cutting. To remove all of the thigh meat from the back bone pull the chicken leg firmly till you see the thigh meat pull away from the back bone. Finally use your knife to fully remove the leg from the chicken. Repeat the same steps for the right leg.
Step 4: Remove the Back From the Breast
Hold the the remaining breast and back piece up vertically by the tail. Take your knife and cut from the bottom of the breast cavity to the top of the breast cavity. This will remove the unwanted chicken cavity meat from the chicken breast. Now insert your knife on each sided of the chicken back to remove the back from the rib cage. Do your best to make the back as narrow as possible.
Step 5: Split the Chicken Breast
Place the breast skin side down with the narrow part of the breast facing your body. Make a cut in the middle of the white cartilage, stopping the cut when the knife reaches the red breast bone. Grab the breast firmly in each hand and spread the breast putting force behind the breast bone. Pull on the breast bone to remove it from the breast. Flip the breast over and slice through the middle of the breast separating it into 2 pieces.
Step 6: Split the Drums From the Thighs
To split the legs, turn each skin side down and cut through joints (along white fat line) to separate thigh from drumstick.