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How To Carve A Whole Roast Chicken

Carving a roast chicken is not difficult, but it definitely requires some knowledge and practice!

Here are our top tips for carving a whole roast chicken. It might take you a while to get the hang of these techniques, but keep trying and soon you'll be carving like a pro!

  1. Make sure that you have a very sharp carving knife, a carving fork (although an ordinary fork will do) and a large chopping board on which to joint your chicken. A good tip is to place your board on a baking sheet so that any juices that escape from the chicken are not wasted (keep them for your gravy!)
  2. Allow your chicken to ‘rest’ on a plate, lightly covered with foil, for at least 15 minutes after it comes out of the oven. This keeps it nice and juicy, making it easier to curve.
  3. Place the roast chicken on your board, breast-side up. Use the tip of your carving knife to cut around and remove the wishbone (the little Y-shaped bone at the neck end of the breasts). This will allow you to carve away the breasts later with ease (see Step 6, below). 
  4. Turn the chicken so that the drumsticks are facing you. Make a long sweeping cut down the very edge of the breast, at the same time pulling the end of the drumstick outwards and away from the body. Keep cutting gently down, following the ribcage of the bird, and you will locate the joint that attaches the thigh to the body of the chicken. Cut or chop through the joint cartilage to detach the whole leg in one piece. Repeat on the other side. Now separate each thigh from its drumstick by cutting through the joint that connects them. 
  5. To remove the wings, pull the wing tips out and away from the chicken, and cut through the joint that attaches the wings to the body of the chicken. If you like, you can separate each wing into two portions.
  6. Now remove the breasts: using long, sweeping cuts, gently run the knife down one edge of the central breast bone, holding the knife roughly parallel to the bone. Slice down and along the ribcage of the bird that so you can remove the breast in one piece. Repeat on the other side. Cut the breast crossways into three or four neat portions, making sure that each piece retains some crispy skin.
  7. If your chicken has a stuffing, remove the stuffing from the cavity and slice it into pieces. 
  8. Finally, cut away left-behind shreds of meat that have been left behind, and turn the chicken over to remove the tasty bits underneath. 
  9. Watch Knorr celebrity, chef Marco Pierre, White carving up a chicken in this quick video!
  10. To celebrate all things chicken, here are some of our best roast recipes. Enjoy!