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Boning Chicken

You can bone all poultry by the same method, bearing in mind that the carcass of a turkey is very much larger than that of a chicken. Essential tools for the job are a sharp kitchen knife and a pair of kitchen scissors.

1. Put the chicken breast side down and cut through to the backbone. Feel for the fleshy 'oyster' at the top of each thigh and cut round it to remove it from its pocket, then gently scrape the flesh away from the carcass.

2. Continue cutting away from the backbone until the whole rib cage is exposed. Where the thigh meets the pelvis, cut through the sockets so that the legs stay attached to the body flesh and skin, not to the carcass.

3. Keep working right roung the bird, then use scissors to cut off most of the rib cage, leaving only the breastbone in the center. With a heavy knife, cut through the foot joints to remove the knuckle end of the legs.

4. Working from inside the top of the thigh, scrape the leg bone clean, pushing the flesh down until you can free the bone. Remove the tendons, then bone the other leg.

5. Now for the wings. Cut off the pinions (the last small one on the wing which has no real meat) with a heavy knife and scrape the wing bones clean as you did the leg bones.

6. Carefully lift up and scrape the breastbone free, working from the middle of the bird towards the tail. Take care not to puncture the skin, as there is no flesh under it at this point.

7. Keep the neck flap of skin intact, and fold it over once the chicken has been stuffed. Seal as much of the stuffing as possible, then sew up the bird or wrap it in a roasting net.

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