How to butterfly a Chicken Breast

Date Published: August 20th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 20th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: how-to
Serves: — | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time:

Butterflying a chicken breast sounds fancy but it’s so much easier than I initially thought. You’re essentially just cutting the the thickness of the breast in half and opening it up, effectively doubling the size of the chicken! This is how you get giant schnitzels at restaurants and if you pound down the breast it becomes even bigger like the famous Hot Star Taiwanese Big Fried Chicken.

Other than doubling the size of your chicken, butterflying a chicken breast also evens out the thickness and helps the chicken cook more uniformly, especially when you’re breading it for a parma, schnitzel, or a katsu. It only takes a couple of minutes and all you need is a knife and cutting board.

I’ve included photos and tried to be as descriptive as I can in how to butterfly a breast. If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! Let me know if a video would be helpful as well. You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

What you’ll need:

  • Chicken breast
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp kitchen knife


  1. Start off by rinsing your chicken breasts and pat them dry with paper towels. Lay them flat on a chopping board.
The breast on the left has the side piece cut off whereas the right breast still has it intact for comparison.

2. Cut off the small side piece of meat located on one side of the breast (see photo above). Note: Some butchers sell chicken breast with this small piece already cut off so don’t worry if you can’t locate yours. Set aside this piece for another use.

Starting at the thicker side, slice the breast in half, keeping your knife parallel with the chopping board but don’t cut all the way through

3. Starting at the thicker side (opposite side of where you just cut off the small side piece), take your knife and cut the thickness of the breast in half, keeping the knife parallel to the chopping board. Do NOT cut all the way through the breast. Stop when there’s about 2cm left from the edge, then open up the breast.

Stop cutting when you get near the end of the breast. Open it up and done!

4. Congratulations! You have just butterflied a chicken breast. Repeat with the other breasts.

Ta-da! Two butterflied chicken breasts

Recipes that use this method:

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