How to carve a roast chicken

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Learn the best way to carve a roast chicken with no mess or waste. Our easy step-by-step method and video will make sure you get the most meat from your chicken, which means that one chicken can go a lot further.

A roast chicken is the centrepiece of a traditional roast dinner, perfect for feeding the whole family on the day and afterwards, when you can make the most of the leftovers (and save you cooking again!). Carving the roat chicken properly means everyone will get a good piece with their roast dinner, but also makes it easier to use the leftovers afterwards - and means that nothing ends up in the bin.

You'll need a sharp knife and a firm grip, but with this method you can make sure you get every part of meat off your roast chicken.

Leftover bones are great for making stock or gravy too, so once you’ve removed all the meat, place the bones and carcass into a large pot on the hob with plenty of water and simmer for a few hours. The rich, flavour-packed stock can be frozen and used in recipes such as stews or risotto, or can be used to make homemade gravy.

It really is easy to carve a roast chicken. Follow our step-by-step method for perfect chicken pieces every time.


  • 1x sharp knife

Step 1

Take the bird out of the oven and leave to rest. Once cooled slightly (enough for you to handle with clean hands), remove any string the chicken might have on it.


Step 2

Hold the chicken with one hand and with a large sharp knife, press down into the thigh bone. Press as firmly as you can between the thigh bone and the breast.


Step 3

Press and wiggle your knife to free the thigh bone from its joint.


Step 4

Pull away and crack the bone off the bird with your hands.


Step 5

Repeat on the other side.


Step 6

Now to work on the wings. Using the same forceful technique, press the knife down between the wing bone and the breast. Loosen and free with your hands.


Step 7

To cut the breast meat, place the knife in the centre of the bird. Carve down into the body, keeping close to the bone.


Step 8

The meat should begin to pull away from the bone. If not, use your hands to loosen.


Step 9

Continue to carefully pull away the meat with both your hands and the sharp knife.


Step 10

To prepare the thigh bone, place the sharp knife at the end of the thigh and press firmly down the remove the end. The meat on the thigh can now be sliced or pulled away easily from the bone.


Step 11

To cut meat off the wings, turn the wing on its side and cut down into the larger end.


Step 12

Slice the breast into large pieces.


Step 13

You will now have breast, thigh and wing meat ready to eat.

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