What is the difference between kitchen shears and poultry shears? Do I need both? I ask because I want to carve a whole chicken into parts and instructions advise using poultry shears.
Poultry shears have a curve, almost a crescent shape, to the bottom lip. Also they usually disassemble for safe cleaning. You will use them for things like removing the back bone from poultry and cracking through rib attachments so the shape of the scissor is helpful. But a sturdy pair of kitchen scissors will do the job for you too. Depending on your budget adding a flexible boning knife would be more useful than owning both types of shears (unless you are a knife guy like me).
I agree with pierino that a good pair of kitchen shears, with a nice short blade and large handholds, worked perfectly for me when spatchcocking my turkey earlier this week. I probably would have used my ultra sharp boning knife (of 1970's vintage, and a legacy from my in-laws' packing company) had the scissors not worked as well as they did. The shears were a relatively new acquisition, bought at a hardware store in Chinatown; I wanted to test them out, and they worked beautifully. It's good to know about the disassembling feature of standard poultry shears. I also echo pierino's comment on the usefulness of a boning knife. I can't imagine a kitchen without one. ;o)