Remove the legs
Place the bird breast side up. Pull a leg away from the body. Using poultry shears, cut through the skin to expose the hip joint. Locate the joint and cut through it to remove the leg. Repeat with the second leg.
Separate the thighs
Locate the joint between the thigh and drumstick. Holding a leg securely, use the poultry shears to cut through the joint to separate the thigh from the drumstick. Repeat with the second leg.
Remove the wings
Grasp a wing and pull it away from the body. Use the shears to cut through the skin to expose the should joint. Then cut through the joint to remove the wing. Repeat with the second wing.
Remove the back
Turn the bird over. Cut along one side of the backbone, from the body cavity to the neck cavity. Then cut along the other side and remove the back. Discard the back or save it for making stock.
Pull out the breastbone
Run the tip of closed poultry shears through the membrane covering the breastbone. Bend the breast upward at the center to pop out the breastbone, then pull or cut it free and discard.
Cut the breast into halves
Using the poultry shears, cut the breast lengthwise into halves. After cutting up the bird, you will have a total of 8 pieces plus the back.