How to Joint a Chicken

We teach our diploma students how to joint chickens because it is a more cost effective way of serving it. You can also use the leftover carcass to make stock.

By following the instructions in this step by step guide you should finish with 8 neat chicken joints,


1 whole chicken
1 large chopping board
1 sharp cooks knife
1 pair sturdy kitchen scissors
Kitchen paper

Yield – 8 Joints


Wipe the chicken with kitchen paper and remove any feathers. If necessary you can singe the feathers on a gas flame to make them easier to remove.

Turn the chicken over so that it is breast side down on the board and the parsons nose is towards you.

Make a cut down the length of the backbone.

The oysters are pads of meat situated along the back of the chicken. To find them feel for the ball and socket joint of the thigh with your thumbs. The oysters are approximately 1 inch higher up and closer to the centre.

Using the tip of the knife cut under the oyster on the backbone, then use your finger to loosen it completely.

Cut the skin between the breast and right thigh.

Put your right hand under the leg and, holding on to the breast with your other hand, pop the joint out (dislocate) between the carcass and the thigh.

Carefully cut the leg off, making sure you take the oysters with you. Repeat on the other side.

Pull the skin evenly over the breast and make a cut down the entire length of the breast to the breast bone.

Using a pair of scissors cut through the breast bone to split the chicken in two.

Just under the breast is a fat line, using the scissors cut under this line and follow underneath the wing to remove the breast from the carcass. Repeat on the other side. One side of the breast will still have the larger piece of bone attached. Leave this on.

You will now have the carcass and 4 chicken joints.

Before cutting the joints in half remove the wishbone from both sides of the breast.

Put the two breast joints next to each other and tuck the wing bone behind the breast. Make a slanted cut on each breast from the wishbone area to the “elbow” of the wing. Cut through the bones with scissors.

Find the join between the thigh and drumstick. A fat line between on the skinned side can help with this. Cut through with a knife. You should be able to cut straight through. If you hit bone start again.

You should now have 8 joints.

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