Learn how to joint a whole chicken and make best use of every bit of it
Use a small, sharp, pointed knife. The trick with jointing a chicken is to always cut with small, clean strokes; to use your other hand to put tension on the part you are cutting, and pull away the part you are removing as you cut to help you see exactly what you are doing.
To remove the wings:
Cut through the skin at the second joint, down to the bone,then slice right through the joint.
To remove and separate the legs:
Cut through the skin between leg and breast, opening the leg out as you do. Cut as far as the hip joint, then bend it back until the joint pops out. Slice between the ribcage and the top of the thigh, being sure not to leave the 'oyster' behind. When you reach the joint, slice through it, then continue to remove the whole leg. Tidy up any loose flaps of skin with your knife. Use your finger to locate the knee joint on the inside (not the skin side). It feels like a small groove. Cut through the joint, and remove any shards of bone from either side of the cut.
To remove the spine:
Starting at the tail end, cut through the ribcage on either side just below the breast - you should see a line of fat, which you can use as a guide. When you reach the wing bones, bend the spine right back to snap them, and cut through either side. Cut the spine section into three or four pieces.
To remove the breasts:
Cut down either side of the breast bone, then carefully cut the meat away, keeping the knife tight against the bones and leaving behind as little as possible. When you reach the wing joint, cut through this so the winglet stays attached to the breast.
Use all the pieces of carcass and skin trimmings to flavour your braise or stew, or to make a wonderful stock.
«You don't have to remove the breasts - if you stop after removing the spine you have a lovely crown roasting joint, which you could butter and roast hot to serve alongside a braise of the legs and wings.»