How to Butcher a Chicken

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Fresh chicken makes for delicious meals. Whether frying, grilling or baking, the fresher the meat, the better it tastes. If you have access to live chickens, you can have the freshest meat available if you want to learn how to butcher a chicken.

  • Move fast if you plan to butcher a chicken. Choose one that is plump and healthy-looking. Grab it by its sides or around its neck with both hands and grasp firmly.

  • Sling the chicken around by its neck until you feel or hear a bone pop. The object is to break its neck quickly so that it doesn't suffer.

  • Chop the chicken's head off with an axe.

  • Hang the chicken by its legs by tying a piece of rope around the legs and then tying the legs to a tree branch. You must let the chicken hang by its legs with its head hanging straight down. This allows the blood to drain.

  • Take the chicken down from hanging once the blood flow slows to a drip (usually takes 5 to 10 minutes). Pluck out all of the feathers.

  • Use your axe or sharp knife and cut off the feet.

  • Remove the entrails (internal organs and intestines). Make a torch out of a piece of newspaper. Hold the cleaned chicken over the torch flame, barely touching the chicken skin. This will singe and remove any pinfeathers that may be left.

  • Wash the chicken with soapy water and rinse it well. Cut it into serving pieces for frying or for casseroles. Leave the chicken whole for baking or stewing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Have a strong stomach. If you are squeamish, you may not want to try to butcher a chicken.

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