Chicken Anatomy 101

 

Get to know the different parts of the chicken — with some cuts and flavor profiles being better suited to certain recipes and preparations than others.

Fresh Cuts

  • Anatomy of a ChickenBone-In: Product containing bone.
  • Meat: Product not containing bone.
  • Skin-On: Product containing skin.
  • Skinless: Product not containing skin.
  • Whole Muscle: Raw, boneless, skinless meat that has not been chopped, ground, or cut into a particular shape.
  • Trimmed: Product where fat has been removed.
  • WOGs: The whole bird without giblets.
  • Giblets: Refers to the neck, heart, liver and gizzard of the chicken.

Front Half

Refers to the front half of a bird including the breasts, tenderloins, and wings.

  • Butterfly Breast: A whole, boneless chicken breast. May or may not contain skin.
  • Breast: Half of a whole, chicken breast containing bone. May or may not contain skin.
  • Breast Fillet: Half of a whole, boneless and skinless chicken breast.
  • Tenderloins: The portion on either side of the breastbone that separates the breast from the sternum.
  • Wings:
    • Whole Wings: The portion composed of the drumette, mid-section and wing tip.
    • Drumettes: The portion of the wing between the shoulder and the elbow.
    • Mid-Section: The portion of the wing between the elbow and tip. Also referred to as flats.
    • Wing Tips: The portion on the wing attached to the mid-section.

Back Half

Refers to the back half of a bird including the thighs, legs and feet.

  • Quarter Legs: The entire portion on the leg (thigh and drumstick) and one-half of the spine attached.
  • Whole Legs: The portion of the leg containing the thigh and the drumstick.
  • Leg Meat: The boneless, skinless portion of the leg containing the thigh and the drumstick.
  • Drumsticks: The lower portion of the leg quarter between the knee joint and hock.
  • Thighs: The portion of the leg above the knee joint.
  • Thigh Meat: The boneless portion of the leg above the knee joint. May come with or without skin.
  • Feet: The lower leg and foot portion with skin and nails removed.
  • Paws: The foot portion only with skin and nails removed.