Ok, technically this isn't a recipe but being able to joint a whole chicken is an important skill to have in the kitchen. You might not believe me, after all your butcher or local supermarket does a pretty good job of dividing up the chicken for you, but if you want to save money, have greater control over portion sizes and get the most out of every part of the chicken then this is how to do it.
Preparation Time: 10 - 15 minutes
Ingredients 1 Whole Chicken (free range if you can afford it)
Begin by pouring any juices out of the cavity of the chicken and placing the whole bird on a clean chopping board, breast down.
Using a small, sharp, knife cut along the back bone from the tail to the neck.
Using your fingers loosen the 'thumbs' from chicken carcass. These are the fleshy bits just above the thighs.
Find where the thighs meet the body and cut again across the back from one thigh to the other.
Flip the chicken onto it's back and pull the loose skin onto the breast. You'll see a white line of fat between the thigh and the body of the chicken. Cut along this line to loosen the leg from the body. Repeat with the other leg.
Take hold of one of the legs and force it back on itself so that the thigh joint pops out. Repeat with the other leg.
Flip the chicken back onto it's breast and using your knife cut away the remaining skin and flesh which is holding the legs to the body.
You now have two Maryland pieces. If you want to divide these into thigh and leg portions, place the leg skin side down, find the white line of fat that runs between the end of the drumstick and the thigh and make a cut along it. Use the point of your knife to find the joint and twist to separate, then cut through the meat. Set aside.
Smooth the skin over the breast. Run your knife down the breast bone, which is indicated by another line of white fat, from the neck to the tail.
Slide your knife down one side of the breast bone, keep the flat of the knife against the carcass and work your way down, cutting the breast away from the bone. Repeat on the other side.
Turn the chicken over again and cut along the white line of fat. Using the point of your knife, find the joint where the wing meets the body and twist to separate. Repeat.
You now have two breast and wing pieces. To separate the breast from the wing lay it on your chopping board skin side up. There is a faint line of fat between the breast and wing joint, slice along it and then cut around the joint with the tip of your knife.
Done. Freeze the carcass to use to make stock at another time. Use the chicken pieces immediately or refrigerate or freeze to use later.