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Somebody butterflying a chicken breast.

How to Butterfly Chicken

Learn how to butterfly chicken, a simple technique for splitting chicken breasts so they cook quickly. Or, fold in a delicious filling between the two halves.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings (4 ounces each)
Calories 129kcal


  • 16 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts (2 large)


  • Cover a cutting board completely with a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper. Add chicken breasts. Working with one breast at a time, place your palm on top of the breast and slice in half horizontally taking care to not slice all the way through. Repeat with the second breast.
  • Arrange chicken breasts in a single layer on the plastic wrap-covered cutting board. Cover with a second piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper. Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness, about 1/4-inch. Remove top layer of plastic wrap.


  1. Uniformity: Butterfly and pound chicken breasts so they cook quickly and evenly without burning. You can cut and pound chicken thighs the same way, too.
  2. Cutlets: Cut all the way through to make chicken cutlets.
  3. Buying: Look for pink chicken (without even a hint of gray) and check the "best buy" date.
  4. Storing: According to the USDA, store raw chicken for 1-2 days in the refrigerator.
  5. Freezing: Remove chicken from the grocery store package and re-wrap in foil, freezer paper, or plastic wrap, then place in freezer-safe bags. Label, date, and freeze for up to 9 months (technically they will last indefinitely, but the quality will suffer). Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.


Serving: 4ounces | Calories: 129kcal | Protein: 24g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 132mg | Potassium: 420mg | Vitamin A: 34IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg