A while back, I wrote a post about the benefits of buying bone-in meat. It’s cheaper, has more flavor, etc… However, when it comes to chicken breasts, I like to butcher them in advance so that I don’t have to wait for a day off to use them since they take 15 years to cook. After that post one of my dear readers asked for a tutorial. Six months later, here it is… (crappy pictures included.)
Hardware you’ll need: a sharp knife (such as a chefs knife or even a good long steak knife will do) and a cutting board.
Here is a bone-in split chicken breast. That’s a left boobie if you are having a hard time visualizing it.
Start on the thick side and find the breast bone. Place your knife right above it and make a shallow slice.
Make another long, shallow slice along the breast bone. Remove the knife. Reposition. Repeat. Don’t keep sawing away in there otherwise it’s going to look like a massacre when you’re done.
Once you’ve cut the chicken from the breast bone, turn your knife perpendicular. Cut from the skinny end towards the wide end, separating the chicken from the ribs.
(See that ball sack-looking piece on the underside? It’s supposed to be kinda loose like that. Don’t worry. We’ll deal with it later.)
Continue cutting until you’ve butterflied that sucker.
The next step is to remove the wishbone. It’s at the thick end closest to the breast bone. You’ll have to feel around for it. Then just make more small slices along side the bone, just til you get past it. (This is where a smaller knife can come in handy. I don’t want anyone losing any appendages…)
The last thing you’ll do is just cut away any remaining pieces that are holding onto bone. And you’ll end up with this.
I like to remove the skin and trim any excess fat.
You could totally stop here. But my OCD doesn’t like that little loose piece hanging off the back side.
So I cut that off and use them for chicken strips.
12 lbs of split chicken breasts yields 12 breasts, 12 tenders, and a crap load of stock bones. Don’t know how to make stock? We’ll have to remedy that. Maybe in another six months…