Butcher's Demo: How to Break Down a Whole Chicken

UPDATED: See below for a simple chicken stock recipe!

For our first butcher's demo we decided to go with chicken. It's the easiest thing to break down, extremely versatile, and probably the handiest "butcher" skill to have at home. When you break down a chicken in your own kitchen, you decide how to cut the pieces - whole legs vs. legs and thighs, whole breast vs single breasts - and how to use them - baked chicken pieces, grilled chicken wings, chicken soup or stew. You're left with the components of a great and easy stock (wing tips, back bone, giblets) and whatever you don't use, you can freeze for later.

We hope you enjoy our first video! These demos are a work-in-progress so we'd appreciate any suggestions, which you can send to cutandbake@gmail.com. Thanks for tuning in!

Simple Chicken Stock

+ the remains of 1 whole chicken (see above)
+ 1 celery rib
+ 1 carrot
+ 1 medium onion, left unpeeled, halved
+ 1 bay leaf
+ 8 whole black peppercorns
+ 4 quarts cold water
+ 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1. Bring all ingredients to a boil in an 8- to 10-quart pot and skim froth. 
2. Reduce heat, uncover and gently simmer for 3-6 hours, skimming froth occasionally.
3. Strain through a sieve or colander to remove the chicken pieces, and discard the solids.
4. Chill, covered. Once chilled, remove any solidified fat and save for cooking (schmaltz). 5. Use within a week or freeze, well sealed, for up to a year. Bring to a boil before using.


  1. Thanks for the clear and concise video. We always break down chickens (so much cheaper and bought than buying the packages.

    Plus it's always so interesting to see the different ways to do it (we do ours differently but I'm going try your way next time).

    PS - Next time, can you show how to debone the breast and thighs after breaking it down? Thanks!

  2. Great, thank you!
    We will definitely do a deboning demo. Thanks for the feedback.