Want to cook chicken breasts in half the time? The secret to cooking chicken breasts fast and evenly is butterflying your meat. This super simple technique creates uniform chicken pieces for healthy meals in a flash.
Today, you’ll learn how to butterfly a chicken breast safely and what knife is best for the job, so your healthy meals are enjoyed by everyone around.
If you’re a visual learner, take a look at this quick video to learn how it’s done.
What Does It Mean to Butterfly Chicken?
Butterflying chicken means to split it horizontally right through the middle of the breast.
To do this, you want to slide your knife horizontally through the chicken breast, starting at the thickest part, making sure to stop right before you reach the end. Then, the chicken will open up almost like a book.
How to Butterfly a Chicken Breast
For those of us that love step-by-step lists,🙋 here is how to butterfly a chicken breast step-by-step:
Time needed: 5 minutes
How to Butterfly A Chicken Breast Step by step
- Dry the Chicken
Pat chicken breast dry with a paper towel and place it on a plastic cutting board.
- Hold it Steady
Place your hand flat on top of the chicken breast to make sure it stays in place.
- Start to Slice
With a sharp knife, slice into one side of the breast horizontally, starting at the thicker end and ending at the thinnest point.
- Open the Chicken Breast
Open the chicken breast as if opening a book. The thick chicken breast is now half the thickness and twice the size.
Is Butterfly and Spatchcock the Same?
To butterfly a chicken usually means to slice a boneless and skinless chicken breast horizontally in half. To Spatchcock is when you take a whole chicken and cut it in half down the back, then press it flat on the baking sheet.
Butterfly chicken breasts are best for pan-searing because they cook really fast on a pan and spatchcock chicken is baked in the oven.
Butterflied chicken breasts are also great for paneed chicken breast recipes -also known as breaded chicken breasts.
What Knives to Use to Butterfly a Chicken Breast
There are only two types of knives that I suggest you use to butterfly chicken: a boning knife or a chef’s knife; both of which should be sharp.
A boning knife is used to de-bone proteins, it is long, very thin, and extremely sharp.
A sharp chef’s knife works as well. What truly matters is that the blade’s edge is both thin and sharp so that it can slide right through the chicken.
The knife you use to butterfly a chicken breast is not the same you’d use to chop vegetables.
How to Cook Butterfly Chicken
The best way to cook butterfly chicken breasts is by pan-searing them. They will cook fast, just 3 or so minutes per side, and the method is simple.
To make your butterfly chicken breasts flavorful, try one of these simple chicken marinades:
How to Stuff Butterfly Chicken
To stuff butterfly chicken, make sure to stop slicing before cutting through one of the sides and the end. Then, you stuff it with your stuffing and use toothpicks to seal it closed.
This will create a sort of pocket for your filling. Then, mix your ingredients, and spoon them onto the center of one side of the chicken. Lay the other side over it, making sure no stuffing falls out, or secure them with toothpicks and bake.
Try stuffing your butterflied chicken breasts with:
- seasoned rice
- ricotta, parmesan cheese, and spinach
- ham and cheese
Butterfly Chicken Breast Recipes
Of course, chicken is delicious all on its own. However, if you’re looking for easy ways to get a flavorful dinner on the table in minutes, be sure to take a look at these great recipes:
- Thai chicken
- Garlic Chicken and Spaghetti Squash
- Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Greek Chicken Salad
- Chicken Fajitas