Did you know the chicken wings you get from your favorite wing place are half-wings?
The whole chicken wing consists of the wing (also known as the flat) and the drum, plus a portion of the wing tip that’s usually removed.
Depending on where you live, it may be hard to find fresh chicken wings at the grocery store that have already been separated into wingettes and drumettes.
But don’t fret! It’s easy to butcher a whole chicken wing with just two simple cuts.
Anatomy of a chicken wing
Before we get too deep into how to separate a chicken wing, let’s take a second to chat about the three parts of a chicken wing:
The wingette, also known as the “flat,” is my personal favorite part of the chicken wing. It has two small bones that run down the center and is filled with tender, juicy meat.
The drumette looks a lot like a miniature version of a drumstick. It can have more meat than the wingette, but it’s also filled with some tough cartilage.
Wing Tip (Flapper)
The wing tip is a small, inedible portion that can be found at the tip of the wingette. It has little to no meat on it and is usually disposed of, but some people like to leave it on for presentation purposes.
How to Cut Chicken Wings
The first thing you need is a sharp knife. Our 6” Boning Knife is a great choice if you want something smaller and easier to handle, but you can also use a chefs knife or cleaver if you have one.
The great thing about a cleaver is that even if you’re slightly off-center, you can still cut through bone with no issues, but if you follow these instructions, even a small boning knife will work just fine.
Spread the wing out and flip it over so the meat side faces downward.
You can locate the joints between the drum and the flat by running your fingers across the wing and finding the soft spot between the two pieces.
Place your knife just beside the joint and push down firmly. Your knife should slide right through with little effort; if you are struggling, you’re likely on top of a bone and should reposition your knife.
Find the small bump between the wingette and wing tip and trim the wing tip off. It should be easy to cut through and come right off with little resistance.
Once you’ve made those two cuts, you will be left with drumettes (drums), wingettes (flats), and wing tips.
The wing tips can be discarded or used in your next batch of chicken stock, but the drums and flats are ready to season and cook!