How to cut up a whole chicken
There’s one really good reason to cut up a whole chicken: It’s always a lot cheaper to buy a whole bird than already cut-up pieces like thighs or breasts. You also can do this with duck or goose and, if you’re strong enough, with a whole turkey. Start with a secure, dry cutting board and a sharp, dry chef ’s knife. First, cut down into the leg at the breast; then pop the leg and thigh from the breast and detach both as a unit. Then separate the leg and thigh where they meet; feel where, then slice. Repeat on the other side of the chicken. Do pretty much the same with the smaller wings. With kitchen shears or the chef ’s knife, separate the backbone from the breasts. Finally, align the big knife along the breastbone and give a hard slice down, cutting the breasts in two. There you have it: one chicken, eight pieces.
Bill St. John cuts a whole chicken into eight parts.