chicken marsala

How To Thin Chicken Breasts

Last Updated on September 7, 2022

We’ve told the story of how the ButcherBox kitchen’s Chef Yankel learned the art of thinning chicken breasts for certain dishes, which you can check out here. Perfect for grilling chicken breasts or dishes like chicken parmesan, chicken marsala, chicken piccata, or chicken schnitzel, the technique to get that perfect thinness for chicken breasts is quite simple.

Pounding Chicken Breasts Thin

You can take an entire chicken breast and pound it thin with a meat mallet, meat tenderizer, or even a rolling pin. Here’ how:

  1. Cover a cutting board completely with several layers of plastic wrap.
  2. Create a “blanket,” a covering of plastic wrap that allows you to cover the chicken breast to keep the flying chicken pieces to a minimum as you pound it thin. Fold the film over itself five or six times for a durable coating to pound the chicken.
  3. Using your mallet or rolling pin, slowly pound the breast as evenly as you can by applying a medium amount of pressure. Too much pressure will result in broken up pieces of chicken breast.

The Easiest Way to Thin Chicken Breasts

The method above works well, however, it can tenderize a whole chicken breast a bit too much. Luckily, there is a cooking hack to simplify the process of creating a thin, uniform thickness for chicken breasts: Slicing the chicken into two halves before pounding it thin.

  1. Slice a chicken breast down the middle. Holding one hand flat over the top of the chicken breast, make sure your hand and fingers are out of the way of the knife.
  2. Slowly slice with a sharp knife from the thicker side of the chicken breast horizontally to the thinner side. Try to slice in the middle so the breasts keep a uniform time. Take your time with this step.
  3. You should end up with two even slices of chicken breast, but, you may get a butterflied chicken. Cut the butterflied chicken in half if this is the case.
  4. Place one of the thinner sliced breasts on the plastic-wrapped cutting board, cover it with the second layer of plastic. Pound the chicken breast until it has the perfect thickness, or, in this case, thinness.

If you don’t thin out a chicken breast, you are more likely to get uneven cooking when baking, grilling, or frying chicken.

In particular, this is a necessary step for pan-frying chicken breasts and cuts down on the time to grill marinated chicken. Also, this makes cooking chicken for sandwiches or to be sliced on salads much easier.