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Butterflied chicken breast and couscous on a plate

How to butterfly chicken breasts

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Butterflying a chicken breast gives it a uniform thickness, which is ideal for quick cooking. You can use this basic three-step technique for other meats, such as lamb or pork.

Butterflying is a really useful technique to create a uniform thickness throughout a piece of meat, so that it will cook more quickly and evenly. Here we’ve used chicken, but for larger cuts, such as lamb or pork, make similar incisions along the joint to open it up into one flat piece. Once you've mastered the technique, try your butterflied breast in our lemon chicken & couscous recipe, pictured above, or chicken tikka burgers.


Three-step guide to butterflying chicken breasts

Step one:

Step 1 butterflying chicken

Put your chicken breast on a chopping board and, with your hand flat on top of it, use a sharp knife to slice into one side of the breast, starting at the thicker end and ending at the thin point. Be careful not to cut all the way through to the other side.

Step two:

Step 2 butterflying chicken

Open out the breast so that it resembles a butterfly.

Step three:

Step 3 butterflying chicken

Cover with cling film and pummel with a rolling pin to create an even thickness. You can now marinate or cook straight away.


Butterflied meat is perfect for quick cooking like barbecuing, griddling or pan-frying. We have plenty of meat recipes to get you inspired.

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