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Pieces of Chicken (cont.)



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7. The gizzard can be sliced carefully down the center and the the flesh pulled by hand away from the stomach sack to leave an edible piece of organ. Discard the stomach lining and contents – or feed it to the other birds. I prefer to just cut the meatier 2 pieces off the sides, because it take too much talent not to cut the stomach lining on a ‘center cut’.


#7 Chicken gizzard

8. Cut of the legs as shown by bending the joint backwards and cutting through the widest part of the leg and through the joint.
#8 Chicken legs






9. I’ve shown how you cut off the wings. You can fight with them to de-skin them if you want, but there is so little on them for the amount of work involved you might not want to go that far. When cutting a joint off, use your fingers to sense the movement of the joint. Where it bends is where you gut. On the wings the joint is usually farther in against the bird than you think. You can cut of the feet, to get the spurs out of the way, in the same manner, but stretch or bend the knuckle in the opposite direction to the way it naturally would bend and then cut on the stretched side. (The picture also shows the crop up near the neck which you can pull away. The crop/food line that goes into the inside of the bird travels from the neck to the underneath of the breast. It should pull loose).


#9 Cutting off the wings-see the arrow

10. I left the bright red lungs in the back until now so you can see how they lay. I’ve taken the knife while pulling the ‘left-overs’ and between pulling back towards the butt end/myself and cutting things loose, it all comes off.

#10 Taking the lungs out






11. Cut the breast away from the back as indicated. If you have a hard time finding the joint at the end of the straight cut, you can travel back along the shoulder bone until it comes loose. After it’s loose it’s easier to just snap off the shoulder bone that is sticking out with your hands.


#11 Separate the breast from the back



12. All that’s left is the back which you can manually bend in half backwards, or just leave it whole. The neck can be twist off or chopped with a cleaver.


#12 Breaking the back







13. The Kidneys can be saved or cleaned out.


#13 Kidneys and glands







Now the bird is in pieces and you can use what you want. Clockwise, starting at the top is the back. Next is the liver,heart,legs, breast, and then the lungs, kidneys, feet and gizzard.You can pickle the feet or keep the kidneys or lungs  - I never do. I use the rest.

Chicken Parts

Make sure the parts get to the refrigerator quickly to cool before using.

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6 Responses to “Pieces of Chicken (cont.)”

  1. How long do yoh estimate it would take to prepare and break down one of your hens? The feathers in there seem to make this process look a bit more disgusting eh? Would you normally recommend plucking and then singe the pin feathers etc?
    I was quite excited when I learned to break down a chicken the professional and easier way. It’s less work. I was hacking and sawing and sweating. Now it’s like zip zip zip done. This proceedure (sans le festhers) would make a useful video.

    • sherry says:

      My problem is to find someone to take the video. I usually dunk them and singe them. Defeatheriing might be about 5 minutes each.The gutting takes a couple of minutes. To clean them another 5 minutes (takes a bit to get every pin feather out). Then 5 minutes to cut and bag. So a half hour each? Maybe less, I never timed it.

  2. Naomi says:

    Well done, Sherry!
    I didn’t know people actually ate the kidneys and lungs. Mom told me once that some people used to eat the brain.
    I’ve eaten the feet before. It was easier to muster as a child, but as a grown-up, I can’t get past where the feet have been.

  3. jerry says:

    do you have pictures of the slaughtering part? how did you slaughter the rooster? is there a best way to do it? there seems to be so many opinions.

    • sherry says:

      I think the best is to stick them in the roof of their mouth, but I don’t know how. You can wring their necks by just a quick twist with each hand turning a different direction. After that the only ways I know of is to guilatine them with a sharp v-shaped apparatus (push the head down on one side and the body on the other, or with an axe). I would do the first one if I knew how, but I am concerned that it wouldn’t ‘bleed out’ which is important, the second one gives me the creeps, the v-shape would be nice but I’ve never had one so we use the axe and that’s bad enough. It’s one of the hardest jobs I have. I was going to show the video on that part, but it was about the same time as when the news came out about that thug who chopped his lover up on the net. I thought it would be better to draw a picture if I had to. Hubby figures if anyone needs to visibly see it they could visit a farmer at the right time.
      Oh…you can use a shotgun too as long as you only shoot the head. Whatever is the quickest is the best. Any more questions?


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