How to carve a chicken

A classic roast chicken is one of the nation’s favourite dishes: crisp skin, juicy meat and all the trimmings – you can’t beat it.

It can be so much more than just your Sunday lunch, too. Big up the flavours of your traditional chicken with Indian spices or give it a Korean kick with gochujang. Throw the leftovers into salads or turn them into a pasta bake to enjoy another day. Don’t chuck the carcass this can be used to make a delicious homemade stock for soups or stews.

Learn how to make the most of your roast and carve a cooked chicken with our step-by-step guide. It’s really easy, so give it a go!

You’ll need:

  • A perfectly roasted chicken
  • A very sharp carving knife 
  • Carving fork 
  • Chopping board (preferably with a well to catch any juices)
  • Rubber gloves (optional)
  1. Remove the legs 

    Allow the chicken to rest and cool down slightly so you can touch it without burning yourself (or use a clean pair of rubber gloves), then place the chicken on the chopping board with the legs facing you. Use the carving fork to hold the chicken in place, and cut across the skin between the breast and the leg. Pull the leg away from the breast and use your knife to cut through the joint. Repeat on the other side. 

    Tip: If you want to separate the leg pieces, cut across the leg at the joint and push down with your knife to give you a drumstick and thigh. 

  2. Remove the wings 

    Repeat the process above – pull the wings away from the breast and cut through the joint. Repeat on the other side.  

    Tip: You can serve the wings whole or cut them through the middle joint to give you two pieces. 

  3. Remove the breast meat 

    Carefully run the knife down the centre of the breastbone to cut through the skin. You can either angle the knife and carve the breast meat in slices or remove the breast whole and slice. To do this, run the knife down the breastbone, cutting the meat from the bone and use the knife to lift the breast away from the breastbone in one piece.  

    Tip: Don’t forget to remove the wishbone and make a wish!

  4. The rest

    Don’t stop there! Now you’ve removed the legs and breasts, you can get to grips with what’s left. Pick off any remaining meat to use in a pie or soup or freeze in a container for another day. Get inspiration for what to do with any leftover chicken here and save the carcass to make a delicious homemade chicken stock

    Tip: Don’t forget to add any chicken juices to your gravy for maximum flavour.