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Someone trussing a raw chicken.

How to Truss a Chicken

It might seem like an extra step, but learning How to Truss a Chicken before roasting is the key to succulent, evenly-cooked poultry that looks as good as it tastes. Use kitchen twine to tie your bird into a compact bundle for your best roasted chicken yet.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 1kcal




  • Cut a length of kitchen twine to about 3 feet in length. Place the chicken breast-side up, and run the center of the string under the neck in the front of the bird. Bring the string up towards the wings and legs.
  • Use your thumbs to tuck the wings in as you bring the string around towards the legs. Keep the string tight to force the wings firmly against the body. The string should roughly follow the contours of the chicken breast.
  • Bring the string around between leg and breast, then give it one overhand knot and pull tight. The wings will be solidly pinned to the body, and the chicken breast will pop up. Note that this is NOT a solid knot - we just want to be able to tighten up on the string. 
  • Bring the ends of string down between the chicken's legs, then cross the legs at the "ankles" above/behind the point of the chicken breast. Make sure your previous knot is still pulled tight. 
  • Separate the strings, loop them around the outside of the chicken ankles, then tie a square knot to finish it off. The legs should now be cinched in close to the body. Snip the extra ends of string, and discard them.



  1. Twine: Seek out unbleached cotton kitchen twine, also known as butcher’s twine, which is strong enough to hold a chicken together but won’t burn. Brown twine is easier to see on a raw bird than white twine. Most butchers keep this on hand so you can simply ask for a long piece at the counter while you're ordering your meat. Or, find it locally at HomeGoods or shop online (I buy this twine on Amazon).
  2. Chicken: Any kind of bird you like can be trussed. Pre-brined, dry-brined, broilers, fryers, roasters, and natural chickens all benefit from trussing before roasting. Trim any excess skin from the neck area of the chicken before trussing with a sharp knife.
  3. Yield: 1 whole chicken, weighing about 4 to 5 pounds before roasting, will yield about 3 cups of cooked chicken (2 cups of weight meat and 1 cup of dark meat). These are just guidelines and your results may vary depending on the size and stature of your particular chicken.
  4. Storage: Store leftover chicken covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days


Serving: 1 serving (5 ounces) | Calories: 1kcal | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 1mg | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg