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What Does It Mean To Butterfly Chicken?

Butterfly-cut chicken in baking pan
Butterfly-cut chicken in baking pan - Easybuy4u/Getty Images

Your technique is often more important than your recipe. Once you realize this, cooking will likely become much less daunting. A well-practiced technique can save a subpar recipe and make your time in the kitchen much easier. When the time comes to cook something simple like chicken, achieving consistent results can be difficult unless you learn and master certain methods. Butterflying, in particular, is a technique worth having in your arsenal.

So, what does it mean to butterfly chicken? Primarily, butterflying is not always the same as spatchcocking. These terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but spatchcocking a chicken requires that you remove the bird's backbone before flattening the carcass, while butterflying means slicing boneless chicken breasts horizontally and spreading them to resemble butterfly wings.

Chicken breasts are unevenly shaped, so butterflying them prior to cooking will provide a more even thickness. This will also speed up the marinating process and decrease cooking time. You can also pound the chicken breasts out for faster cooking. If you're making something like chicken roulade, for example, butterflying will effectively get the job done.

Read more: 15 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Cooking Eggs

Butterflying Chicken Is A Simple Process

Raw butterflied chicken
Raw butterflied chicken - Nataliia Maksymenko / Shutterstock

To butterfly chicken, remove any skin attached to the meat before you start slicing. You'll need a sharp knife and a steady hand to make precise cuts. Once the skin is removed, insert the knife through the thickest part of the meat and cut it horizontally. Stop once you're close to the edge, and then spread the meat in the same way you would open a book. Pound the chicken breast gently. You now have chicken paillard that will cook faster and more evenly than an unsliced chicken breast. This dish can be pan-seared, deep-dried, or air-fried.

Butterflying chicken breasts is hardly rocket science, but there are a couple of factors you should keep in mind. A dull knife can tear the meat and make the sides of your butterfly uneven. If you're stuffing the chicken, make sure you don't overdo it, as the meat can burst. Lastly, butterflied chicken is thin and prone to overcooking, so make sure you keep an eye on it.

Read the original article on Mashed.