How to Carve a Chicken With Jim Leiken, Formerly of Cafe Boulud (Photo)

Roast chicken is pretty high up there in popularity charts. It makes sense: with proper technique, it's fairly easy to make; it's healthy; satiating; and chicken is relatively inexpensive.

While it's one of the few dishes that is common in most American's cooking repertoire, serving it can be one heck of a mess.

Although it seems fairly self-explanatory, carving a chicken takes a certain amount of finesse. We've all seen a perfectly cooked birds that end up looking like they've been butchered by Edward Scissorhands.

To help you prevent poultry mutilation, Jim Leiken formerly of Cafe Boulud, has given us some step-by-step directions for properly carving a chicken -- or any big breasted bird, for that matter.

Leiken starts the process while prepping the raw bird. He removes the wish bone before trussing. "It ensures that you will get more meat when carving the bird after it's done," he says.

Step One: Cut the cooking twine off the bird. Start the dismantling process by removing the legs and the wings.

Step Two: Chop the legs in two at the joint to separate the thigh from the drumstick. Move both pieces off to the side.

Step Three: Starting at the top of the chicken carefully slice along the breast to gently free each one from the cavity of the bird. The goal is to remove each muscle in its entirety with as much meat possible.

Step Four: Cut each breast across widthwise into equal segments.

Step Five: Gingerly, place one leg piece and half of a breast on a plate with a garnish. Obviously, you can increase the serving size for those with a larger appetite.

Voila! You have served a whole chicken that doesn't look like it's been attacked by a pack of wild animal. Enjoy!

See also:

- How to Truss a Chicken With Jim Leiken of Cafe Boulud (Photo Instructions)

- Jim Leiken Formerly of Cafe Boulud's Poularde en Vessie Recipe: Pig's Bladder Stuffed With Chicken and Truffles (Photos)

- Rick Mace Takes the Reigns at Cafe Boulud

Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.

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