I don’t know if anyone else has noticed that chicken breast are getting bigger. I sure if you met a modern day it would be ‘Jurassic sized’ if the breast you can by in the supermarkets are anything to go by. However a couple of problems occur with huge chicken breasts. One is that there is a huge variation in the thickness of the meat from one end of the breast to the other. Secondly, I’ve noticed over the years that as chicken breast have become larger, the flavour has decreased.
A solution to both these problems can be solved by butter-flying the chicken breast. In essence you cut along the length of the chicken breast, nearly all the way through, so that the chicken breast opens like a book. This not only evens out the thickness of the meat so that it can cook evenly, but it also increases the surface area to which we can apply flavour, either over the surface, or by stuffing it. Butter-flying a chicken breast unlike flattening it using a kitchen mallet preserves the structure of the meat without breaking it.
How to Butter-flying a chicken breast
- First trim the fillet if it is attached and any excess fat, sinew from the chicken breast.
- Using a large sharp chefs knife, start cutting along one of the long edges of the chicken breast, about half way down the thickness.
- Cut nearly all the way through the breast, stopping about 0.25″ (0.5cm) from the other edge.
- Open out the chicken breast like a book
You can now season and flavour both sides of the breast, or stuff the cavity for even more flavour.
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