Cut off the wish-bone in a slanting direction from the front of the breast-bone down to the shoulder on each side. Cut through the cartilage between the end of the collar-bone and the breast. Cut between the end of the shoulder-blade and the back down toward the wing-joint, turn the blade over toward the neck, and cut through the joint.
This joint in the wing, collar-bone, and shoulder-blade is the hardest to separate. Remove the breast from the back by cutting through the cartilage connecting the ribs; this can be seen from the inside. The breast should be left whole and the bone removed after stewing; but if the chicken is to be fried you may remove the bone first.
It is not necessary in boiling a chicken to divide it so minutely, for the wings and legs can be disjointed, and the side-bones and breast separated from the back more easily after cooking; but it is valuable practice, and if one learns to do it neatly it will help in carving a boiled fowl or roast turkey.
In arranging a fricasseed chicken on the platter, put the neck and ribs at the left end of the dish and the backbone at the right end. Put the breast over the ribs, arrange the wings on each side of the breast, the second joints next to the side-bones, and cross the ends of the drumsticks over the tail.
Fowls or turkeys for boiling should be trussed with the ends of the legs drawn into the body through a slit in the skin, and kept in place with a small skewer. Turn the tip of the wing over on the back. Cut off the neck, not the skin, close to the body, and after putting in the stuffing, fasten the skin of the neck to the back. Put strips of cloth round it, or pin it in a cloth, to keep it white and preserve the shape.
In carving, place it on the platter with the head at the left. Put the fork in firmly across the breast-bone. With the point of the knife cut through the skin near the tail, and lift the legs out from the inside. Then cut through the skin between the legs and body, bend the leg over, and cut across through the joint. Cut from the top of the shoulder down toward the body until the wing-joint is exposed, then cut through this, separating the wing from the body. Remove the leg and wing from the other side. Shave off a thin slice on the end of the breast toward each wing-joint, slip the knife under at the top of the breast-bone, and turn back the wish-bone.