Oftentimes, you’ll find that a recipe calls for not just chicken but “chicken parts.” That’s exactly what it sounds like – parts of a whole chicken. You can buy chicken parts at most grocery stores, but often you receive pieces that are uneven and therefore don’t cook so well. To avoid the hassle of trying to fix unevenly cooked chicken, make your own chicken parts! It’s much easier than the alternative. All you have to do is buy a whole chicken and follow the steps outlined in the Test Kitchen tutorial below. Give it a watch and try this trick next time you need chicken parts for your recipe.

Beyond having chicken parts that are going to cook much more evenly for you, you can also use the meat around the chicken spine to make a homemade chicken stock.

Here’s what you need to do to get your own chicken pieces:

STEP 1: Using a sharp cooking knife, start by cutting the skin around the legs to separate them from the body. Pop the joint out of its socket. Cut close to the back to get the most tender part of the leg.
STEP 2: To cut the leg even farther, find the joint between the thigh and the drumstick, cutting it with the joint easily.
STEP 3: To remove the wings, bend them out from the breast and bend them outward to cut.
STEP 4: To separate the whole breast from the backbone, turn the bird on its side and look for a vertical line of fat. Use this as a line to cut all the way up the breast with kitchen scissor.
STEP 5: Center your knife on the breast bone and apply pressure to split the breast into even pieces.

Just like that you’ll have even chicken pieces, perfect for cooking! And you have the makings of a deliciously homemade chicken stock. When one tip goes a long way, you know it’s a good one!

Do you separate chicken for pieces in a different way? Share it in the comments section below.