How to Truss a Chicken

How to Truss a Chicken

Learning how to truss a chicken is a basic preparation that will yield a moister chicken breast when roasted and is a simple yet elegant way to present a whole roasted bird. Trussing, or tying a chicken keeps the breasts moist by pulling the legs closer to the breasts, insulating and keeping them from drying out. A trussed chicken will also retain it's shape after being cooked, making for a beautiful presentation.

Trussing a chicken may seem like a daunting task, but don't worry, learning to tie a chicken is actually much easier than you'd think. If you can tie your shoelaces, you can learn to truss a chicken! After you learn to truss a chicken you won't be able to stop yourself from purchasing chicken whole instead of pre-cut, just so you can practice your new chicken trussing skills. Oh, and don't forget to put some herbs, garlic, salt, and pepper in the cavity before you seal that bird shut!

Chicken (of course this technique will work on any other bird - Turkey, Duck, etc.)
Chef's Knife
Butcher's twine
Cutting board

1. Before trussing our chicken we need to remove it's wings. Using a sharp Chef's knife, cut the wings between the joint where they meet the Chicken's arms. Make sure to really feel for the spot between the joints as you shouldn't feel any resistance, your knife should separate the wings with ease. Save those wings for a rainy day. If you're not a stickler for presentation you can leave the wings intact and proceed as follows.


2. Cut a long piece of butcher's twine, and pull it across the underside of the ends of the chicken's legs.


3. Bring the butcher's twine over the top of the legs and cross the twine to form an "X"


4. Most cookbook's don't explain the next step very well, so I'll give my best shot to give the clearest description possible. While keeping the butcher's twine crossed, pull it down, and back under the joints of the legs. Whereas your hands were previously above the chicken's legs, they should now be lowered to bring the butcher's twine under the legs. Pull the butcher's twine as tightly as possible, so the joints of the legs meet. Hopefully the picture below can better explain this step if you're still lost.


5. Next, bring the butcher's twine towards the neck end of the chicken, keeping the twine tight and between the chicken's legs.


6. Flip the chicken over and hook the butcher's twine under the chicken's arms so that they're held in place. The next step is to finish trussing the chicken by tying a double knot around the chicken's next, so first you'll want to cross the butcher's twine to form an "X."


7. Finally, bring the butcher's twine under and around the neck of the chicken to tie a double knot (Tie a knot once, then tie another one.)


8. Cut the excess twine, so your chicken looks nice and pretty. There you have it, you've trussed your first chicken!


Trussing a chicken is as easy, if not easier, than tying a pair of shoes! Have your chicken all tied up but unsure of how to cook it? Feel free to follow our Oven Roasted Chicken Recipe.


Wow, This is a cool looking technique. I'm gonna hafta try it someday.I'd love to try some juicy white meat. Thanks for the detailed pics!

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