Matt Abergel's tips on chicken butchering

Published on March 14 2019.

At Yardbird, the butchering process is broken down into three main stages: there's the main breakdown where the legs, breasts and wings are removed, then there are the secondary parts, such as the neck, rib, and tail, and lastly each leg and wing is broken down into all its parts.

Main tip

You’ll need a sharp knife. One of the most important things to know when butchering chicken is that 60 per cent will be done with your knife and 40 per cent will be done with your hands - pulling, pushing and manipulating the bird to separate the parts. The type of knife used in Japanese poultry butchery is called a honesuki, which translates to “bone knife”. It has a thin, sharply angled tip, allowing you to get between joints, a broad bevel that allows for ease of sharpening, and a thicker heel, which gives it the strength to crack through bone. It's also important to have a large cutting board placed firmly on a clean surface. Use a damp towel or non-slip mat to help keep the board in place. Refrigeration is essential in order to keep the parts cold as you go, reserving them for the skewering later on.