How to Butterfly a Chicken Breast

January 31, 2013Katie

This is the second in a series I’m adding to my Blog – titled Tips & Tricks.

Enter the chicken breast.  Boneless, skinless and …


Cooking takes awhile, unless you’re going to make chicken paillards or cutlets which are thinly pounded chicken breasts.  The cooking time is greatly reduced when chicken is prepared this way.

It’s really a simple procedure and you don’t have to have fancy tools.

Start by taking your chicken breast and looking at it’s form.  It basically has a flat side (not perfectly flat) and it has what I call the “weird side”.

You want to slice horizontally through the weird side.

Take a really sharp knife and run it through the middle (horizontally) of the weird side but don’t go all the way through.  Leave about 1/4 of a inch uncut.  Think of your chicken piece as a book.  You want to open it up but leave the binding on.

If it won’t open perfectly, take your knife and with small strokes, again being careful not to go all the way through the chicken, open it up.  I always cut my cutlets in half anyway, so you could actually cut all the way through if you want to separate cutlets.  It depends on what your recipe calls for.

Guess what? You just butterflied a chicken breast!

Click here for a certificate to print.

Not really.  I’m totally kidding on the certificate.

Now, if you want to go one step further and pound your chicken flat, try this:

Take your butterlifed chicken and place it between 2 sheets of wax paper, or even better – a freezer gallon bag.

I like the freezer bags because they don’t tear easily when you pound on them.

I got this handy dandy meat tenderizer/pounder from my Pampered Chef party, but you can use a rolling pin or even a soup can to pound your chicken.

Start at the center of the piece and pound and push out toward the outside of it.

Keep working until you get the entire piece about 1/4 of an inch thick.  Remove it from the bag.

Now, at this point you can cook your chicken in one big piece or cut it in two pieces.

And that’s it!

Some ideas for using your chicken paillards or cutlets?
Try my Chicken Cutlets with Mushroom Cream Sauce.

Or, try my Chicken Cutlets with Asparagus and Pesto Cream Sauce.
Chicken Breast on Foodista



    May 5, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    My family loves fried chicken, but I don't make it very often. We love the crispy coating on the outside. Yours looks delicious and I will be trying it Jean! Thanks for sharing the recipe with SYC. hugs,
  • Mohit Kumar

    December 17, 2017 at 3:08 am

    nice trick to butterfly a chicken breast. Now i know with the help of your blog, i am going to do this today!! Thanks for sharing!!
  • Salman Bootwala

    May 1, 2020 at 5:48 am

    Wow, I have never seen such techniques before. Such a unique way to prepare chicken breast. Definitely going to give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

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