How To: Tuck Chicken Legs Before Roasting

How To Tuck Chicken Legs Before Roasting from

I’m sitting here watching an episode of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. One thing I really like about the restaurants they feature is almost everything is made from scratch. Many of the restaurants even have their own vegetable gardens. And they all seem to appreciate lard. I love it.

So, in this particular episode, the host is in the kitchen of PizzalChik in Boise, ID. The food looked delicious, and the next time I find myself in Idaho (only once in my life so far, but who knows…) I’ll have to check this place out. What stopped me in my tracks and made me make a mad dash to youtube was the way he tied the legs of a chicken before he roasted it. Or, to be more precise, didn’t tie them.

If you’ve ever roasted a chicken in the oven, you were probably taught to tie the drumsticks. I’ve heard various reasons for this – everything from keeping the stuffing in to making sure the legs don’t fall off during cooking – but I can’t really tell you with exact certainty why this is done. That said, it is kind of a pain, and since I mostly cook whole chickens in the crockpot anyway, I tend to ignore it. I might not ignore it anymore, because the genius chef at PizzalChik came up with a super easy way to tuck chicken legs in the bird, serving the same purpose as tying the legs, without having to dig out your kitchen twine from the back of the junk drawer. I’m actually kicking myself that I never thought of this before.

UPDATE 5/12/2014:

Originally I had linked to the Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives video. Unfortunately, it’s been taken off youtube. I haven’t found a replacement video, so I went out and got a chicken just so I could do a photo tutorial for you. So, here is a photo tutorial of the Pizzalchik technique. Full credit to them for teaching me this trick.

How to Tuck Chicken Legs Before Roasting Photo Tutorial

Step 1: Clean your chicken by removing any bits that are inside (bag of gizzards, etc).

How To Tuck Chicken Legs Before Roasting from

Step 2: Pull up the flap of skin between the chicken leg and the opening you pulled the gizzards from.

How To Tuck Chicken Legs Before Roasting from

Step 3: Using a knife with a sharp point, poke a hole through the skin.

How To Tuck Chicken Legs Before Roasting from

How To Tuck Chicken Legs Before Roasting from

Step 4: Push the end of the chicken leg through the hole you just made.

How To Tuck Chicken Legs Before Roasting from

And that’s all there is to it! Repeat on the other side, then your newly tucked chicken is all ready for roasting in the oven or in a crock pot. Enjoy!


  1. I saw the same episode & thought the same exact thing: “Why didn’t I think of that!?” I just did it w/ an 8 lb bird & it couldn’t have been easier! No more mis-tying chix legs for me! This is THE TRICK of the century! Thanks a million for posting this vid! I love simple solutions!


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