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trussed whole chicken on parchment with herbs

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.
Course Main
Cuisine American, French
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 409kcal


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


  • 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.


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.


Calories: 409kcal | Protein: 35g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 133mg | Potassium: 360mg | Vitamin A: 267IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 2mg