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How to break down a Whole Chicken

1. Set the chicken, breast side down, on the work surface. With sharp kitchen shears, cut down along each side of the backbone to remove it, then freeze it to make stock at another time.

2. Pull both sides of the chicken apart and use a sharp knife to cut the chicken in half.

3. Place 1 chicken half, skin side up, on the work surface. Holding the wing in one hand and the drumstick with the other, pull the chicken half until it is fully extended. Cut off the leg and thigh in the natural divide between the bottom of the breast and the top of the thigh. Repeat with the other half.

4. Separate the drumstick from the thigh by cutting with a knife at the juncture at the top of the drumstick. For stubborn bones, use sharp kitchen shears.

5. Cut the breast portion into 2 pieces by angling the knife across the breast about 1 1/2 inches below the thickest portion.

6. You'll have 8 pieces: 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 2 breasts, and 2 breast-wing portions.
source: www.bonappetit.com

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