Skip to content

Get 5 Secrets to Make Homemade Taste Food Better + New Recipes Weekly!

    How to Truss a Chicken

    Published February 4, 2020. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    Learn how easy it is to truss a whole chicken so that it is more flavorful, juicy and tender when cooking and serving it up.

    trussed whole chicken on parchment with herbs

    Trussing a chicken is one of the first things you learn in culinary school.  It’s fundamental in its technique and can then be applied to things like turkey, rib roast or even beef tenderloin.  It’s incredibly easy to do and can make all the difference in the world to your cooking.

    What Is Trussing

    It’s the process of tying your meat together with twine before cooking to help seal in juices, flavor and tenderness to what you are cooking.  You most often truss:

    Should You Truss a Chicken

    I always truss a whole chicken before roasting it.  It not only helps to seal in juices and flavor, but it also keeps the chicken together in a uniform shape.   For example, if you do not tie it up the legs will cook down and out and just not look as pretty.

    Can I Use Thread

    You should always use butcher’s twine.  It is strong enough to keep everything together and does not fray apart when cooking or tying.  Thread is not strong enough and will break when cooking.

    How to Truss A Chicken

    Place your chicken on a cutting board and make sure it is patted dry with a paper towel.

    how to truss a chicken step 1

    First, Season the inside of the cavity with salt and pepper.

    how to truss a chicken step 2

    Fold each wing back behind the cavity of the chicken.

    how to truss a chicken step 3

    Place the long piece of butchers twine under the bottom part of the chicken, about 2” up from the bottom, and pull up on each side.

    how to truss a chicken step 4

    Cross the twine over on the top side of the chicken legs and pull together to begin to close up the cavity and bring the two legs together.

    how to truss a chicken step 5

    Making a figure 8 cross the twine back under the legs and pull to bring them together.

    how to truss a chicken step 6

    Run the twine to the front side and over top of each leg.

    how to truss a chicken step 7

    After running it over the legs begins to bring the rope downwards to the bottom side of the chicken.

    how to truss a chicken step 8

    Flip the chicken over holding everything still in place and pull the twine upwards past the next bone.

    how to truss a chicken step 9

    Make a knot just right above the neck bone.

    how to truss a chicken step 10

    Pull the knot tightly together under that neck bone and then make another knot to secure it.

    how to truss a chicken step 11

    Trim off any excess twine using scissors or a knife.

    how to truss a chicken step 11

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: You can truss a chicken up to a day or two before roasting it.

    How To Store: You can keep the chicken trussed and covered in the refrigerator up to 2 days before roasting it.

    Chef Billy Parisi

    chef notes + tips

    • Be sure your chicken is patted dry with a paper towel before beginning to truss.
    • The reason you season the cavity first because once you tie it up to, it’s way too hard to get back in there to do it.
    • The reason you fold the wings back is so that it stabilizes the chicken and keeps it flat and does not rock back and forth.
    • If you notice in the picture where I tie a knot above the next bone, I fold over the twine twice, which is also called a “Swiss knot.”  This will hold your knot in place better.
    • Once the chicken is done roasting, use a knife or scissors to remove the twine before slicing and serving.
    chicken tied with butchers twine on parchment paper

    Chicken Recipes

    Be sure to follow me on FacebookYoutube, Instagram, and Pinterest and if you’ve had a chance to make this then definitely drop me a comment and a rating below!

    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    How to Truss a Chicken

    Learn how easy it is to truss a whole chicken so that it is more flavorful, juicy and tender when cooking and serving it up.
    Servings: 4
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 0 minutes

    Ingredients 

    • 1 whole roasting or frying chicken
    • 2 yards butcher’s twine
    • Sea salt and pepper

    Instructions

    • Pat the chicken dry on all sides with a paper towel and lay breast side up on your cutting board.
    • Season the inside of the cavity with salt and pepper.
    • Fold each wing back behind the cavity of the chicken to help lay it flat.
    • Place the long piece of butchers twine under the bottom part of the chicken, about 2” up from the bottom, and pull up on each side.
    • Cross the twine over on the top side of the chicken legs and pull together to begin to close up the cavity and bring the two legs together.
    • Making a figure 8 cross the twine back under the legs and pull to bring them together.
    • Run the twine to the front side and over top of each leg.
    • After running it over the legs begins to bring the rope downwards to the bottom side of the chicken.
    • Flip the chicken over holding everything still in place and pull the twine upwards past the next bone.
    • Make a knot just right above the neck bone.
    • Pull the knot tightly together under that neck bone and then make another knot to secure it.
    • Trim off any excess twine using scissors or a knife.

    Notes

    Chef Notes:
    • Make-Ahead: You can truss a chicken up to a day or two before roasting it.
    • How to Store: You can keep the chicken trussed and covered in the refrigerator up to 2 days before roasting it.
    • Be sure your chicken is patted dry with a paper towel before beginning to truss.
    • The reason you season the cavity first because once you tie it up its way too hard to get back in there to do it.
    • The reason you fold the wings back is so that it stabilizes the chicken and keeps it flat and does not rock back and forth.
    • If you notice in the picture where I tie a knot above the next bone, I fold over the twine twice, which is also called a, “French knot.” This will hold your knot in place better.
    • Once the chicken is done roasting, use a knife or scissors to remove the twine before slicing and serving.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 409kcalProtein: 35gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 143mgSodium: 133mgPotassium: 360mgVitamin A: 267IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 2mg
    Course: Main
    Cuisine: American, French