How To Debone A Chicken Quickly And Without Mess

How to Debone a Chicken

Chicken is definitely one of the best meats in my opinion but I'm kinda weird about having to debone a chicken because I freak out a little thinking that this is actually a cute little animals bones that I'm crushing (which I know is ridiculous considering I'm happy to eat meat and it's dead but that's just my weirdness). 

Plus chicken is much more expensive when you are buying it already deboned, filleted, and in perfect chicken breast portions compared to when you buy it whole.

So that's why I've been learning how to debone it quickly, properly, and with less mess.

Likewise; if you want to know how to strip the meat off chicken bones with ease, quickly, and without the mess you should read on...

Where to begin 

It can be difficult to know where to begin when deboning a chicken, but we recommend beginning with the easy step: sharpening your knife.

You will require a boning knife to be able to debone your chicken, and this knife must be very sharp so that it can do the job effortlessly. 

Once your knife is ready, you should then get your chicken out of the fridge. Strip it from all of the store packagings, and lay it breast side down on a sturdy cutting board.

Next, you need to find the backbone. You will be able to find it with your finger, and when you do you should take your knife and cut down the back along one side of the bone. 

After you have pierced the skin alongside the backbone, you should start working on the ribcage.

With one hand, grab the loose skin, and with the other, carefully cut the meat away from the bone, pulling the skin with your other hand to make the process easier. 

While you are pulling the skin away from the ribs, you will come across the wishbone.

Turn the chicken so that the neck is facing away from you, then cut around the wishbone so that you can pull it free. Be careful, as the wishbone may break during the process. 

Wishbone removed, carry on cutting until you come across the wing and leg bone on that side of the chicken.

These can make cutting a little more trickier but just continue in the same method as you have so far. It is important to take your time, otherwise, you may damage the breast meat. 

Once you have completely cut that side of the chicken, you need to flip the bird around and complete the same process again. After that is done, we can move onto the legs and wings. 

How to Debone a Chicken

Removing the Legs and Wings

Removing both the legs and wings can seem like a daunting task, especially due to the number of bones contained in this one small area. However, the process isn’t as scary as it sounds.

To begin with, you want to focus on the wing joint. Take your boning knife, and prepare to cut through it.

Take the wing in one of your hands, and the carcass of the chicken in the other, then bend and twist the wing back until it pops out. 

You should then take your knife and cut through it, focusing on the area between the bone and the joint. Once you have snipped this, you should then continue working your knife down the leg of the chicken. 

After you have reached the leg, you should grasp it in one hand and the body of the chicken in the other.

Just like you did with the wing, you should then bend the leg back until you hear the popping sound. 

Once the joint has popped, you can then cut through the leg joint and find the gap between the leg bone and the socket. 

Next, you need to look for the keel. The keel is cartilage that can be found on the breast bone right at the front of your chicken.

You have to be extra careful when working on the keel, otherwise, you might damage the yummy skin that coats the chicken breast.

Before you do anything to the keel, you must cut the joints in the legs and wings from both sides of the chicken. So if you haven’t done that already, repeat the method on the opposite side. 

Once you have repeated the method on both sides, you are very close to finishing deboning your chicken. With your knife, you should then begin to carefully cut the meat away from the keel.

Utilize the bones of the chicken when doing this, and run your knife alongside them to minimize the work that you need to do yourself.

Ensure that you are using a scraping method rather than a stabbing method so that you do not damage the skin or the meat that you are cutting.

Once you have cut around the keel, you can then take the ribcage and pull it free from the carcass. Think twice before throwing this away as it can be used to produce chicken stock. 

Finally, we return to the leg and wing bones.

These will still be attached on either side of the flat chicken you now see in front of you, and all you need to do is scrape away the meat from both the wings and the legs until you are able to remove them. 

After all of the bones have been removed, you should then feel the meat to check that there are no bones or cartilage left. Once you are confident that the meat is thoroughly deboned, it is then ready to cook.


In short, deboning a chicken isn’t as difficult as it sounds.

If you need to debone a chicken for a meal, simply follow these steps and the process will be simple.