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How to Debone a Chicken." />

How to Debone a Chicken

Last updated on 6/08/2018

While using a whole chicken may be the most economical way to prepare poultry dishes, it can be a little daunting when trying to figure out how to get the meat you need. There’s no need to be overwhelmed, though, since this tutorial will guide you through the steps of how to completely debone a chicken. So whether you’re making a stew, stir fry, or sandwich, this how-to guide will make sure you get all the delicious, tender chicken you need to prepare your signature dishes. You can also use the removed bones to make a rich, delicious chicken stock for soups or stews. For other methods of preparing chicken, check out our guide on how to spatchcock a chicken.

Step-by-Step Instructions for How to Debone a Chicken

  • how to debone a chicken step 11.

    Lay the chicken breast-side down with its legs towards you. Locate the backbone running straight down the middle.

  • how to debone a chicken step 22.

    Begin cutting along one side of the backbone down the entire length of the chicken. Do the same on the other side to fully remove the backbone.

  • how to debone a chicken step 33.

    Make a 1/2” slit through the cartilage in front of the keel bone.

  • how to debone a chicken step 44.

    Crack open the keel bone by folding the chicken outward.

  • The keel bone is another name for the breastbone and is found at the front of the bird, opposite the backbone.

  • how to debone a chicken step 55.

    Remove the keel bone by breaking the delicate skin on either side with your finger and pulling it out.

  • how to debone a chicken step 66.

    Flip the chicken over.

  • how to debone a chicken step 77.

    Slice down the middle where the keel bone used to be, cutting the bird into halves.

  • how to debone a chicken step 88.

    Separate the thighs and breasts by cutting through the joint.

  • Cutting through joints is easy to do. However, if you try to cut through bone, it will be much more difficult. Always try to position your knife so you're cutting where the bones meet.

  • how to debone a chicken step 99.

    Separate the legs, or drumsticks, from the thighs.

How to Debone Chicken Breasts

  • When cutting out or removing bones, try to cut as close to the bone as possible, so you can save as much meat as possible.

    • how to debone chicken breasts step 110.

      Cut off the wing tips. Discard.

    • how to debone chicken breasts step 211.

      Separate the wings and breasts at the “shoulder” joint.

    • how to debone chicken breasts step 312.

      Remove the rib bones. Discard.

    How to Debone Chicken Legs

    • how to debone chicken legs step 113.

      Score the leg around the "handle" of the drumstick.

    • how to debone chicken legs step 214.

      Scrape the meat from the bone using your knife.

    • Scoring is making small, shallow cuts through the skin or meat with a knife.

    • how to debone chicken legs step 315.

      Make a slice through the meat to the bone.

    • how to debone chicken legs step 416.

      Remove the bone by sliding the meat off. Discard the bones.

    How to Debone Chicken Thighs

    • how to debone chicken thighs step 117.

      Score the thigh bones.

    • how to debone chicken thighs step 218.

      Scrape the meat from the bone using your knife.

    • how to debone chicken thighs step 319.

      Remove the thigh bones by cutting the meat where it is still attached. Discard the bones.

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