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How to Bone a Chicken, Turkey, or Other Bird

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Begin with a Bird
A chicken, ready to be boned

A chicken, ready to be boned

This is how Adriano Alti, my father-in-law, used to bone birds in his poultry shop in Florence. Unlike some other techniques, which require making a cut along the back, Adriano's technique leaves the skin intact, and this makes it much easier to stuff the boned bird, or do whatever else the recipe calls for.

In addition to a bird, you will need a couple of sharp knives, one with a stronger blade for cutting through the joints, and one finer for trimming the flesh away from the bones. Both should be quite sharp, and if you have a sharpening steel you will want to use it. You'll also need a cutting board.

In terms of time reqired, things go quicker with practice. Adriano, who has a lot, can bone a chicken in less than 5 minutes, and does a duck in about the same time. It takes him a bit longer to do a turkey, because it's bigger.

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