How To De-bone a Whole Chicken

September 19, 2008
(Last Updated On: November 27, 2016)

Steps in Deboning a Whole Chicken

Sure to please the eye and palate, a whole, roasted, boneless chicken, filled with a favorite stuffing or not, is ideal for easy no-fuss carving right at the table. Boning a whole chicken, or other poultry, is not difficult, once you’ve learned the steps involved, and have a basic idea of its bone structure.

The benefits to doing your own boning are many. With fewer hands on the product, there is less likelihood of any food-borne illness to develop. The less time the product spends waiting to be processed before it gets to you, the better guarantee of its freshness. It is much more economical to buy a whole chicken, with the added benefit of getting all those bones to make your own stock. Last but not least, finding a butcher to bone a whole chicken is difficult if not impossible.


debone chickenSTEP 1:

Place the chicken, breast side up, on a clean cutting surface. Stretch out each wing flat against the board by pulling the tip. With a boning knife, cut off the wing tip and next joint, leaving the largest wing bone still attached.






At the neck, cut out the wishbone by pulling the skin up and out of the way and sliding the knife along the underside of the wishbone. Continue cutting around and under the wishbone until it is free and can be pulled out with your fingers.







Turn the bird over, and with breast side down, cut along the backbone from the neck to the tail.







With short sharp strokes of your knife, keeping the knife close to the bones, cut the flesh and skin, carefully using your fingers to pull the flesh away from the carcass.

Cut through the ball-and-socket joints connecting the wing and thigh bones to the carcass, so that they are separated from the carcass but still attached to the skin. When step is complete on both sides, meat will be attached only along the ridge of the breastbone. Gently (the skin tears easily) pull to separate the breastbone and carcass from the flesh.




Cut the flesh from the curved (saber) bone near the wing and remove the bone.








The partially-boned bird with leg and wing bones left in, is now ready for stuffing.







While holding the wing bone from inside the bird, cut through the tendons and scrape the meat from the bone with the knife. Pull out the bone, using the knife to free it.









Using a cleaver or thick-bladed cook’s knife, cut off end of leg bone. Note: The use of a cook’s knife for chopping through chicken bone is acceptable for this application but not recommended for cutting through other bone.






Repeat step #7 to remove the leg bone. Reposition wing and leg meat so skin side is out.






STEP 10:

The whole chicken is now completely boned, with the skin intact and ready to be stuffed, rolled, and roasted.

Now you are ready for Rellenong Manok Recipe (Stuffed deboned Chicken)


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1 Comment

  • Reply
    March 26, 2018 at 8:26 am

    Wow. The de-boning process looks really interesting. You have shared the process in such a detailed manner.

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