HOW TO DISMEMBER A CHICKEN
If you planned to roast a chicken for dinner, but time has run out and you can no longer manage an hour in the oven followed by 10 minutes of rest while the bird collects its juices, cut your chicken into pieces. It will cook in half the time of a whole roasted chicken. And, while buying precut chicken parts may allow you to cherry pick preferred pieces, whole chickens are often of better quality than precut ones, and they are less expensive. So, arm yourself with a sharp carving knife, a pair of poultry shears and a roomy cutting board and proceed to dismember:
1.Put the chicken on the cutting board breast side up. Pull a leg away from the body and cut through the skin that attaches the drumstick to the breast. You have now exposed the interior of the leg.
2. Turn the chicken on its side and bend the leg back (this may require some force) until the thighbone pops out of its socket. Cut though the skin and joint to detach the leg completely.
3. To separate the drumstick from the thigh, turn the leg skin side down and look for a thin white line of fat between them that marks the joint. Cut through the joint along the white line. Repeat the first three steps with the second leg.
4. While the chicken is on its side, pull the wing away from the body and cut through the joint to remove it. Repeat with the second wing.
5. Lift chicken and use poultry shears to cut downward through the ribs and collarbone on both sides to remove the back and neck in one piece. Either discard the back and neck or save them for stock.
6. Place breast skin side down and cut carefully through the center bone, then slice through the meat and skin to separate the breast into two pieces. If your breast halves are too large, turn them skin side up and cut them in half diagonally through the bone.