How to French Cut a whole chicken into a crown of breast (step-by-step with photos)

whole chicken

This is the first time I’ve ever cut up a whole chicken. I usually just specify the part(s) that I want from the butcher and he does the rest of the work. However, this time I needed a very specific cut – a beautiful French Cut crown of breast with the skin intact.

free range chicken

I actually saw this in a MasterClass episode and wanted to replicate the dish. It’s not a live chicken of course but it has everything still intact – head, innards etc – it hasn’t even been disemboweled. I bought this for RM 24.60 – it’s a free range chicken that goes for RM 18 / kg.

removing organs

The first step is to cut off the head, ass (Bishop’s nose) and feet so you have more room to work with.

giblets

Then, you’ll have to take the organs out of the body cavity of the chicken – just put your hand down the cloaca (chicken don’t have an anal cavity) and pull out everything you can feel. It’s connected so it’s not that hard – everything from the heart to the liver can be just extracted by just pushing your entire fist in and pulling hard to get the giblets.

pulling giblets

Think of it as the opposite of stuffing a turkey. smirk

cutting whole chicken

I put everything I’ve cut up or removed on a dinner plate for future use.

removing wishbone

The next thing is to remove the wishbone from the chicken. It’s located somewhere in the neck – there’s a small bone that can be cut out and discarded so the crown of breast will be perfect.

cutting legs

I wanted that particular cut to be heavy on the skin so that it’ll be moist so I made the incisions on the skin very close to where the drumstick ends.

crown breast skin

The next step is to twist the entire chicken leg to the opposite direction (to where the chicken would naturally stand if it’s alive) and cut out the leg at the thigh from the oyster that surround the bone.

removing legs

This will allow the skin from the thigh part to cover the entire breast.

french cut chicken

Next, I sliced off the wings and did a French style cut that exposes the bone of the mini drumstick on the wing. You don’t have to do this but it looks pretty. I didn’t do a very good job at it though since it was my first time – I cut it too high up on the joint.

removing carcass

The last bit that needs to be done is to chop off the rest of the carcass. Save this for stock!

breast crown

You’ll have a nice crown of breast with quite a lot of skin on – just the cut I wanted to have for an awesome dish I made over the weekend!

cut hand

I learned a lot about dressing chickens while doing this (and cut my hands several times too) and I’ll just buy whole undressed chickens from now on…

french cut

…so I can get the exact cut that I want! :)

My kingdom for a thigh

I went to the KFC in Wisma Sanyan today to get some chicken for
dinner. I wanted a 3-piece set with ALL THIGHS, but apparently, that
would be a problem:

Me: Hello, I’ll like the 3-piece set, all thighs please
Cashier: I’m sorry sir, we’re not allowed to give the customers
so many thighs during peak hours. You can have drums, breast meat or
wings though.
Me: Hmm…then I’ll take 2 thighs and a drumstick
Cashier: Er…actually we’re only supposed to give out one thigh per order
Me: Oh alright, I’ll just have a thigh, a drumstick and a wing

I didn’t even have any problems getting all thighs from that
particular branch before. They must be having a backlog of breast meat
today to do that. I’ll rate my preference as thigh, drums, wings in
that order. I don’t even like breast meat. It’s just too dry and tough.

Anyway, the road running parallel to the 4-storey SMC car park is so
hard to navigate now. Who had the bright idea to put so many barriers
to streamline the traffic? It’s just 4 lanes and 3 of them turn right,
so there is no need for so many of those things. It was implemented
recently too, and I drove over one of them inadvertently while driving
to Wisma Sanyan. Sheesh…luckily I swerved in time to avoid hitting
the “Turn Left” sign.

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