If you give a cook a whole chicken, chances are he’ll roast it, because for all its wonderful attributes, a whole bird just isn’t that versatile. Other than sticking it in the oven or plunging it into a pot of liquid, there are not a lot of obvious ways to cook it.
Cut that chicken into parts, however, and the possibilities open up, easily enabling techniques like braising, sautéing and grilling. And while you have to work pretty hard to get a whole chicken with crisp skin, by using parts, you can achieve that result easily and consistently. It’s worth noting, too, that unlike the ubiquitous boneless (and skinless!) breast, bone-in parts retain their moisture during cooking.
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