How to Butterfly a Chicken Breast
There are two main reasons to butterfly a chicken breast. One is to make sure the chicken breast has a consistent thickness throughout the fillet, transforming the popular cut from lopsided to flat and even. This will help the chicken to cook evenly and more quickly. The other reason to butterfly is to prepare the chicken breast to be stuffed or rolled into a roulade with a filling. Butterflying creates more surface area in which to wrap around your stuffing. If you simply plan on searing and sautéing the butterflied chicken breast, the additional surface area also helps create extra flavor. The browning (or the Maillard reaction, if you're fancy) that occurs on the surface of the meat when searing equals flavor—that's why those brown bits taste so good and you're often encouraged to scrape the bottom of a pan when cooking certain recipes.
So, now that you know why you're butterflying, here's how. First, you'll need a sharp knife, preferably a boning knife (that's the slightly flexible, skinny-bladed one), but a chef's knife or even a paring knife (depending on the size of the chicken breast) will do. Then, you'll need that cutting board you use only for raw meat (it should be plastic; wood is for veggies and non-meat ingredients). Finally, slide on a pair of gloves, if you're not a raw-chicken-toucher, and follow these simple steps.
Recipes to Try: Healthy Stuffed Chicken Breast Recipes