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How-To

How to Butterfly a Chicken Breast

Fine Cooking Issue 65
Photos: Scott Phillips
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When a piece of boneless meat or poultry is of uneven thickness, like a chicken breast or a leg of lamb, it won’t cook evenly. Thinner parts get overcooked by the time the thicker parts are done. But you can even things out by butterflying the food. To butterfly something means to cut it horizontally almost but not entirely in half, and then to open it like a book. The benefits of this cut are twofold: the meat or poultry will cook more evenly and more quickly.

1. Start on the thicker side of the piece of meat and hold a sharp knife parallel to the cutting surface. Slice the meat almost completely in half, stopping about 1/4 inch from the other side.
2. Open the meat like a book and pat the new surface to make the cutlet evenly thick.

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