Carving a chicken is a simple process that takes a little patience; it gets easier each time you do it. If your chicken truly is cooked enough, it should be easy to remove the meat. It's not a delicate process, though, so don't be shy about manhandling the chicken a bit. Wait until it has cooled just enough for you to handle it comfortably.
Set the chicken breast side up. Pull the leg and thigh back to expose the joint that attaches it to the body (have a little patience; wiggling the thigh section and pulling it away from the body with your hands helps).
1) Use a sharp paring knife to probe for the socket and cut through it, separating the leg and thigh from the carcass. Repeat with the other leg and thigh.
2) Use the knife to cut through the joint that connects the leg to the thigh.
3) Pull off the wings by gently twisting them away from the carcass. You may need the aid of your knife to separate the wings fully.
The breastbone runs along the top center of the chicken carcass. Feel for it with your fingers. Make a 3-inch-long slit along both sides of the breastbone.
4) Dig your fingers into one of the slits and peel the entire half of the breast meat off the carcass. Do the same to remove the breast meat an the other side. Slice each half of breast meat crosswise, making 5 or 6 slices per breast half.
Pick or cut off whatever meat remains on the carcass. Arrange the legs, thighs, wings, and meat on a platter and serve.
Learning to Cook with Marion Cunningham
By Marion Cunningham
Alfred A. Knopf, Publisher
112 full-color photographs
Recipe Reprinted by permission.
Modified August 2007
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