The Boneless Chicken Ranch

This is a bit beyond the basics and the first time it may be like shaving a ferret.  The only utensil is a paring knife.  Go slow because it’s done as much by feel as sight.  And don’t worry about mistakes–it only means cooking with boned parts.  Once you get the technique down this can be done in less than 5 minutes.  It’ll be a wonder to behold.

your opponent

See the post on roasting boneless chicken to for an example of how this can be cooked.

How to Bone a Chicken

An important tip is to separate the tendons on the inside of the joint – the area where bones meet to form a V.  This approach is standard for most butchering.

Step 1 Roll back the flesh of the collar.  Cut the inside of the wishbone and pull it out (the tip will break off).  Use your fingers to push back the breast flesh until the area of the wing and shoulder blade joints are exposed.

cutting the wishbone

Step 2 Loosen the flesh around the wing joint, slip the knife in from below and cut upward to separate the tendon.  Then cut the tops of the shoulder blades free and, using your fingers to free the flesh, pull them out.  Carefully work the paring knife down the backbone to loosen the torso flesh.  Do not go beyond the end of the ribs.

loosening around the wing

freeing the shoulder blade

Step 3 Work your fingers down the inside of the breast to free the meat from the ribs and then the large connecting cartilage.  Cut off the tip of the wishbone and the rib cage will slide out.  Cut through the ribs and surrounding membrane and remove the breast plate.

freeing the breast

removing the breastbone

Step 4 Using the paring knife, separate the flesh of the backbone down to the hips.  Be careful with this step and do not use force.  If you feel resistance rotate your wrist to change the blade angle.  Make an incision on top of the oysters (the round muscle just above the thigh) and push them off the hips with your thumbs.

freeing the backbone

removing the oysters

Step 5 Free the flesh around thigh joint with your fingers and then slide the knife under the area where the thigh bone meets the hip and cut the tendons.  The remaining skeleton can be pulled free, and the membrane and pope’s nose cut off.





Optional:  Cut along the inner thigh and free the thighbones.  Also, save the bones for Stock (see post on chicken stock) .

cutting along the thigh

removing the thighbone


Filed under Poultry, Technique & Dirty Secrets

3 responses to “The Boneless Chicken Ranch

  1. Pingback: Boneless Chicken with Potato Stuffing | Table Dad

  2. Pingback: Boneless Chicken with Potato Stuffing | Table Dad

  3. Pingback: Turducken! |

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