Carving And Jointing Poultry

Carving chicken First remove the stuffing. Insert the blade of the carving knife between the leg and the body and cut through. Sever the thigh from the drumstick. Repeat with the other leg. Carve off the wings, taking some of the breast meat too. Carve the breast in long downward slices and divide between the portions.

With a small chicken, fewer portions will be possible. Cut off the legs but leave them whole. Carve off the wings with the breast attached. Hold the knife close to the carcass to avoid leaving breast meat on the bone.

Portioning chicken For 4 portions, cut along the breastbone and open out the bird. Either cut along the backbone or cut it out completely. Cut each chicken half diagonally between leg and wing. For 6 portions, cut off the legs and wings and then cut off each side of the breast.

Carving turkey First cut the drumsticks away from the body. Leave the thighs attached to the breast. Cut away both wings. Carve the white meat from the breast in long slices, carving down from the breastbone. Carve the dark meat from the drumsticks and from the thighs, holding the drumsticks upright. Make up portions of dark and white meat mixed.

If the turkey has been stuffed, spoon out the stuffing before starting to carve and then add a little to each portion when you are dividing the meat.

Carving duck or goose

Remove the stuffing if applicable. Cut away the legs and, with a goose, divide into two. Then cut away the wings. Cut down along the breastbone. On each side of the breast make cuts through the meat parallel to the first cut. Loosen the meat from the carcass by cutting upwards, holding the knife close to the body of the bird.

Portioning duck Duck can often be too small or boney to carve. In this case portion it as you would a chicken.


Use stuffings to give a more attractive shape to poultry. They give extra flavour and help stretch out the portions.

Only stuff the neck end, never the body cavity, as there is a chance that it may not cook through thoroughly.

Always remove stuffing from bird after carving and allow to become cold separately.

Duck and goose may be stuffed from either end.

For a simple stuffing, combine fresh white bread-crumbs, one beaten egg, seasoning, butter and fresh herbs. Use sage, parsley or tarragon. Moisten with a little water, and add finely peeled lemon rind.

To make a sausagemeat stuffing, combine sausage-meat with a lightly fried, finely chopped onion, bread-crumbs and a beaten egg. Season to taste and if liked, add chopped, boiled chestnuts, or a large cooking apple, sliced into small pieces.

Never freeze a bird ready-stuffed: it will deteriorate rapidly.