How to excellently carve your roast chicken
Carving a chicken may seem easy to some people however, many of us find carving a whole chicken correctly rather daunting but, following these few simple steps will ensure you get the most out of your chicken, making sure nothing goes to waste and that everything is used up.
TOP TIP: The carving struggles usually begin with not having a sharp knife and this is essential for a stress-free Sunday lunch, therefore, make sure you have a good quality sharp knife!
Step 1: Let your chicken rest
Take your chicken out the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before transferring it to a carving board. This is an important step which is usually missed, letting it rest allows for all the juices to be redistributed back through the meat and makes the juices thicken producing a more tender chicken. While you rest the chicken, find a roasting fork and sharpen your carving knife.
For more tips on how to cook the perfect roast chicken click here.
Step 2: Remove the legs
Start with taking the legs off, cut down the side of the chicken and open it out; the leg should break away easily and then you can cut it off. Then repeat this on the other side of the chicken. If you are wanting whole pieces, separate the thighs from both drumsticks, which join at the top of the drumstick. This works well with a smaller chicken however, with a larger one taking the meat off the thighs or drumsticks can work well when serving. If you are taking the meat off the drumstick, scrape in a downwards motion and it should slide of easily. If you are taking the meat off the thigh, there is a bone running down the middle therefore, cutting straight into three strips makes this very simple.
Step 3: Remove the wings
Then, take the wings off and leave them whole or if you are wanting to share this delicious part of the chicken around then you can cut them through the joins and serve them separately.
Step 4: Two ways to carve your roast chicken breasts
1) With the breasts, we recommend two ways of doing this. Firstly, if you are having a roast dinner then carve the breast into thin slices from the chicken. Start at the back corner of the chicken and carve diagonally downwards.
2) If you are cooking a chicken for a salad or another purpose, slice the whole breast off then slice it to your desired thickness afterwards.
The wish bone should be visible at this point so you can take this out if you enjoy saving the wish bone!
Step 5: Do you know about the oysters?
We aren’t finished yet!
The Oysters which are hidden on the bottom of the chicken are arguably the tastiest bit so don’t miss them! So, turn the chicken over and you can see where the legs used to be, near this there are two oyster shaped pieces of dark meat that lie either side of the backbone. You can take these off using your fingers and place them on the serving plate with the rest of the meat, two lucky people will get to enjoy this fabulous part of the chicken.
Step 6: Mmmm gravy…
Next, if you are planning on making gravy, keep all the juices from the board and roasting tray including the onion you roasted it with. Use these to make the most delicious gravy, adding some stock and flower.
Step 7: Sutton Hoo’s easy stock
Finally, once having carved your chicken, grab all the left-over bones including the carcass and little bits of meat and chuck them into a big pot for your stock. Throw in a halved onion, a carrot, two celery sticks, two bay leaves and a tablespoon of black pepper corns, then cover these ingredients with cold water and bring to the boil. After this bring it down to a low heat and leave for a couple of hours. We recommend preparing the stock and putting it on to simmer before you eat, yes, it’s that quick and easy!
Find more details on how to make chicken stock here.