Should I Cut Chicken Before Or After Cooking?

cut chicken before or after cooking
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Cut Chicken Before Or After Cooking?

Chicken is one of the most popular types of poultry consumed by many cultures all around the world. Globally, we consume over 135 metric kilotons!

Everyone loves chicken and thus, there are numerous ways of cutting and cooking it. Some people cook the chicken first and then portion it while others cut the chicken into pieces and then cook it.

If you do not know whether to cut the chicken before or after cooking it then this article will solve your confusion and help you understand when to first cook the chicken and when to first cut it.

Cut Chicken Before or After Cooking?

Technically speaking, both ways of cutting the chicken, whether before or after cooking, are right. There is nothing wrong with either method. However, deciding which to choose depends on how you want the chicken to be cooked, presented, and then served.

Benefits of Cutting Chicken Before Cooking

  1. If you portion the chicken first and then fry it, the chicken will be crispier and crunchier.
  2. The pre-portioned chicken will cook faster hence saving your fuel and time.
  3. Another benefit you might get from this technique is that the chicken will marinate quickly as the seasoning will penetrate faster into the meat because of all the opened surface areas available to it. The cut chicken will provide more surface area for the flavor to be absorbed resulting in a succulent, tasty dish.
  4. There is less likelihood of undercooking a pre-portioned chicken. This will, therefore, reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

Disadvantages of Cutting Chicken Before Cooking

  1. It can be difficult for home cooks to joint and portion a raw chicken correctly. (Hack – if you struggle with this step, buy pre-portioned pieces from the store.)
  2. There is a greater chance of overcooking the chicken because the portions are smaller. This will result in a dry finished dish.
  3. Cooking chicken portions requires more supervision than cooking a whole bird. You may need to turn the portions halfway through the cooking process.
  4. Some dishes don’t lend themselves to portions. For instance, a traditional roast dinner.

Bottom Line

There are numerous methods of cooking chicken. It is neither right nor wrong to portion your chicken before cooking it. It really depends on what you want your finished dish to look like and what recipe you are using.

If you want to have a go at pre-portioning your bird, try our easy, foolproof recipe below that will have everyone licking their fingers and asking for more!

Sweet and sticky chicken wings with chips
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Sweet and Sticky Chicken Recipe – 4 Servings


  • 1 chicken, portioned into 2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks (Keep the remained of the carcass for soup)
  • ½ cup fruit chutney such as peach or mango
  • ½ cup store-bought mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat your oven to 350˚F.
  2. Lay your chicken portions in a single layer, skin side up, in a shallow casserole dish.
  3. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.
  4. Using a small jug or mug, mix the chutney and mayonnaise.
  5. Spread this over the chicken portions evenly, coating them completely.
  6. Bake the chicken for about an hour until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is golden and sticky. There is no need to turn the portions.
  7. Serve hot with rice or potatoes.
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