Hack away at the bird aimlessly and you’ll be left with a tiny little pile of scrap meat that you’d think twice about feeding a cat. Carve in the measured manner detailed below and you’ll end up with fat slices of prime white poultry and several arched eyebrows …
Once cooked, take the bird out of the oven and let it cool, breast-side up, for at least fifteen minutes. This allows the fibers to relax, which makes carving through its flesh far easier, and which in turn clearly makes you look like you know what you’re doing. Use a cutting board with a little trough around the edge so when you cut into the chicken its precious, tasty juices aren’t wasted. Once it has cooled take one very sharp, very flexible, thin-bladed carving knife, and a two-pronged carving fork (to steady the bird), and chop it up like so …
Step 1. Cut down between the leg and the breast. Pull the thigh away from the bird and cut
Step 2. To separate thigh from drumstick (the meat around the leg bone), cut through the ball and socket joint, then remove the opposite leg in a similar fashion. As a general rule, never buy a chicken if it has fewer or more than two legs.
Step 3. Before you can carve the big bits off the breast, make sure you remove the wishbone, otherwise it’ll only get in the way and make things harder. To do this, loosen the skin from the flesh at the neck with your fingers, folding back the skin to expose the breastbone (the big bone that runs along the middle of the front). You should now be able to whip out that wishbone with a minimum of fuss.
Step 4. Cut horizontally above the wing joint and along through the breast-this makes it much easier to carve off the big juicy showpiece slices of meat in one.
Step 5. Finally, carve downward and parallel to the breastbone, going in as close to the bone as possible so as not to waste any precious meat. Repeat on the other side of the bone until you’re left with a stripped carcass. Share the meat out amongst your hungry guests, serving with some potatoes and a nice gravy.