The flavour of a dish will often be better if rather than buying pieces, you cut up a whole bird.
Use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut through the length of the breastbone, then turn the chicken over and cut down either side of the backbone to completely remove it.
The backbone should come away in one piece. Then cut the bird into four pieces, following the natural contours. You can also remove the wing tips at this stage, if you wish.
For eight pieces, cut each breast in half, so one piece has the wing attached, and cut through the leg joint to separate the drumstick from the thigh.