How to Cut a Whole Chicken in Half

Written by zora hughes
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How to Cut a Whole Chicken in Half
There are several different methods for cutting up a chicken. (Macro shot of raw chicken breast on brown wooden board image by Olga Sapegina from

There are numerous ways to cut, carve and prepare a whole chicken into the pieces needed for a variety of dishes. If you are starting with a whole chicken you need to cut up the chicken, unless you are planning on roasting the chicken whole. But there are times when recipes simply call for the chicken to be cut in half. This could be the first step in a complicated recipe or simply the way the recipes calls for the chicken to be cooked.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Whole chicken
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife
  • Kitchen shears

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  1. 1

    Place the chicken on a clean cutting board. Turn the chicken so that the legs are closest to you, with the breast side down.

  2. 2

    Cut down one side of the backbone, starting at the tail end of the chicken, with a very sharp knife or shears. Cut down the other side of the backbone and remove it. You should be now able to open up the chicken like a book to reveal the inside and the breastbone.

  3. 3

    Cut down the centre of the breast bone, pressing firmly on the knife to cut through the bone. You will be left with two halves of chicken.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not use the knife you used to cut your chicken for anything else until you have washed it in hot, soapy water to avoid cross contamination.

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