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How to Cut a Chicken Breast

Chicken breast is a versatile and delicious protein that can be used in a variety of dishes. But before you can cook it, you need to know how to cut it properly.

This step-by-step guide will show you how to cut chicken breast so that it is ready to cook in no time.

My How to cut up a chicken breast video

How to cut a whole chicken breast

Answer

To cut up a chicken breast, place the chicken breast on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut it in half lengthwise. Once the chicken breast is halved, you can cut it into thin strips or cubes, depending on how you plan to cook it.

chicken breast being cut on a cutting board

If you follow these few steps you will be able to create cubes and strips pretty quickly and it will become second nature to you when you cut up a chicken breast.

Removing the tenderloin

cutting chicken tenderloin from a chicken breast

The tenderloin is a small, thin piece of meat that is located beneath the breastbone of a chicken breast. It is a very tender piece of meat that is often used in recipes that call for chicken breast fillets.

There is a good chance that your chicken breast will not have a tenderloin attached when you get your chicken breast.

My chicken breast has a tenderloin attached because I get my chicken breast from a whole chicken. I have an entire post that covers how to cut up a whole chicken.

To remove the tenderloin from a chicken breast, you will need a sharp knife and a cutting board.

  1. Place the chicken breast on a cutting board with the breastbone facing down.
  2. Use a sharp knife to cut along the breastbone, starting at the thickest part of the chicken breast and working your way down.
  3. Once you have cut through the breastbone, you will be able to see the tenderloin.
  4. Use your fingers to gently separate the tenderloin from the chicken breast.
  5. Once the tenderloin is free, you can cut it away from the chicken breast.

The tenderloin can be used in any recipe that calls for chicken breast fillets. It is a very tender piece of meat that is sure to please.

Cutting into cubes

cutting a third of a chicken breast off the rest of the breast

To cut up chicken breasts into cubes, you will need a sharp knife, a cutting board, and one or two chicken breasts. Place one chicken breast on the cutting board and use the sharp knife to cut it in half lengthwise.

cutting a chicken breast to get an even depth

Next, lay one of the chicken breast halves flat on the cutting board and cut it into thin strips, about 1/4 inch thick.

slicing chicken breast into strips

Finally, stack a few of the chicken strips on top of each other and cut them into small cubes, about 1/2 inch square. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with the other chicken breast half. Once the chicken is cut into cubes, you can use them in your favorite recipe.

cutting chicken breast cubes

Cutting your chicken breast into cubes is extremely common. It’s a great way to add chicken breast to a stir fry or into a chicken salad or a chicken and cheese quesadilla.

The first step is to keep the chicken breast all the same thickness so that the cubes you create will cook the same.

If you are not sure what knife is best I have an entire post on kitchen knives for beginners.

Cutting into strips

cutting chicken breast into strips
  1. Prepare the chicken breast. Rinse the chicken breast under cold water and pat it dry with a paper towel.
  2. Cut the chicken breast in half lengthwise. Place the chicken breast on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut it in half lengthwise, creating two thinner chicken breasts.
  3. Lay one of the chicken breasts flat on the cutting board.
  4. Cut the chicken breast against the grain into thin strips. To find the grain, look for the direction of the muscle fibers. Cut perpendicular to the grain.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the other chicken breast.
  6. Use the chicken strips in your favorite recipe. Chicken strips can be used in a variety of dishes, such as stir-fries, soups, salads, and casseroles.

Butterflying a chicken breast

starting to butterfly a chicken breast with knife on a cutting board

To butterfly a chicken breast, you will need a sharp knife, a cutting board, and a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper.

  1. Rinse the chicken breast under cold water and pat it dry with a paper towel.
  2. Place the chicken breast on a cutting board.
  3. Lay a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper over the chicken breast.
  4. Use a sharp knife to cut the chicken breast in half lengthwise, stopping about 1/2 inch from the other side.
  5. Open the chicken breast like a book.
  6. If desired, pound the chicken breast to an even thickness.

Butterflying a chicken breast makes it cook more evenly and quickly. It also allows you to stuff the chicken breast with your favorite ingredients, such as cheese, vegetables, or herbs. This is a great way to freeze chicken and easily thaw it for another meal.

.

finishing a chicken breast to be butterflied

This can really be a popular way to cut up a chicken breast so that it can cook evenly. This is my preferred way if I’m going to saute chicken breast.

The benefit is that you get a lot of surface area of the chicken to the pan and this will bring flavor with the browning of the chicken.

If you have enjoyed learning how to cut chicken breast I also have a post on how to cut a chicken wing and a great post on how to debone a chicken thigh.

Frequently asked questions about how to cut a chicken breast

Whether you cut the chicken before or after cooking depends on your recipe. For grilling or baking, it’s usually best to cook the chicken breast whole to retain moisture. For stir-fries or stews, you should cut the chicken into pieces before cooking.

For stir fry, cut the chicken breast into thin strips or small bite-sized pieces. It’s essential to cut against the grain for tender meat. Remember, smaller pieces cook quickly, ideal for stir-fry’s fast cooking process.

To cut chicken breast without it shredding, make sure your knife is sharp, and always cut against the grain. This means slicing across the shorter width, not along the length. Additionally, cutting partially frozen chicken can help achieve cleaner cuts.

Conclusion

Cutting chicken breast can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With a sharp knife and a little practice, you can easily cut chicken breast into strips, cubes, or even butterflies it.

Once you know how to cut chicken breast, you can use it in a variety of dishes, such as stir-fries, soups, salads, and casseroles.


chicken breast being cut up on a cutting board

How to Cut Up a Chicken Breast (Easy Steps)

Bob
There is an easy way to cut up a chicken breast for your next recipe.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 4 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 4 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 129 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 chicken breast

Instructions
 

Cutting Chicken Strips

  • Cut the bottom 1/3 of the chicken breast off and then cut the 2/3 thicker end the width way so that all the pieces are the same thickness.
    Now go ahead and cut all these pieces into even thicknesses strips.

Cutting Chicken Cubes/Chunks

  • Cut a third of the chicken breast off close to the bottom of the chicken breast. This is the section that would be the thinnest.
    For the other 2/3 that is thicker your going to want to change the thickness of the breast by cutting into the breast to cut the width in half.
    Take a sharp knife and create strips that are the same thickness of the width of the chicken breast.
    After you have created the strips you can cut across the chicken strips to create consistent-sized cubes that will cook the same.

Butterfly Chicken Breast

  • Take a sharp knife and slice into the chicken breast across the entire chicken breast. You want to start in the thinnest part on the long side of the chicken breast.
    Flip it open and finish the cut if needed, but don't cut through the chicken breast.

Nutrition

Calories: 129kcalProtein: 24gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 131mgPotassium: 418mgVitamin A: 34IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 0.4mg
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