This Just Maika Cooking: Cook’s Notebook section will focus on everything related to prepping chicken connected to all my recipe posts, updated frequently.
Get Perfect Slices Every Time
Half-thawed chicken breasts are much easier to slice into even pieces. You can achieve this by letting frozen chicken breast thaw in your refrigerator the night before. Even pieces are essential to ensure equal cooking time and portion control. Butterfly the tip of the chicken breast by slicing it only halfway. Look at the last three pictures to get a better overview.
The knife goes easily through when slicing half-thawed chicken breast.
Thus giving you more control of the knife when you slice.
To make the tip as uniform as the slices, you will butterfly it.
Do this by gently slicing it in half while keeping it intact.
Then you can press it flat.
The Knife from My Videos and Pictures
This 7-inch Paudin Santoku Knife is well-made. It's also super solid and multi-functional. It is made with high-carbon steel, so it will not rust. In addition, slicing meat like fish is easier with the grooves; it doesn’t stick to the knife.
The handle also has an excellent grip and is not heavy. And it’s beautiful! This size is also perfect for cutting large-to-small ingredients.
Furthermore, the blade has a little curve, making slicing easier with a rocking motion. This was also excellent for prepping and cutting vegetables for the Israeli Couscous and Roasted Vegetables Recipe.
Not only do I still have it, and it's still going strong, but also I love it.
How to Butterfly Chicken Breast
Place the chicken breast flat on a cutting board at a 45-degree angle, with the thickest part at the top. If you cut with your left hand, the chicken breast will face the opposite direction.
Hold your whole hand on the chicken breast to hold it steady. Then, take your knife and begin slicing from the thickest part to the thinnest while keeping the long side away from you intact.
While slicing, you will try to feel where the knife is, ensuring it stays in the center.
Don't worry about not getting it right on your first try. Practice makes perfect.
You can take it a step further by pounding out the thickest part of the chicken. You can use a meat pounder with plastic wrap on the chicken. Just ensure to flip before pounding, and pound the skin side of the chicken to prevent tearing.
Benefits of Butterflying Chicken Breast
It’s all about reducing that cooking time and having the ability to sear the chicken on high heat, quickly cooking it and making it super juicy. Making this perfect for breaded chicken breast, the chicken will be done while it is golden brown when frying with no need to finish it in the oven.
How to Make Small Chicken Cutlets
Lay your chicken breast flat horizontally on a cutting board for raw chicken.
If you are right-handed, you will lay the thickest part of the chicken breast on the right side.
Begin by placing your knife blade towards the middle of the thick side of the chicken breast.
Lay your hand horizontally flat on top of the chicken breast, matching the orientation of the chicken breast.
As you slice the chicken, you will use the feeling from the hand laying on the chicken breast to remain in the center to cut two even slices. Note: This will take practice; you may not get it right the first time, but don’t worry.
After you have divided the chicken breast entirely, you can either continue to make small portions by cutting it into thirds or use a half-sized portion, depending on your preference and the recipe you are cooking. For example, this half-sized portion would be suitable for Chicken Parmesan.
Or you can continue to make small cutlet pieces by dividing each piece into three or two pieces. This would be great for stir-fries or tossing into pasta.
Why Cut into Cutlets?
This is great for faster and even cooking. Even pieces cook simultaneously, so you won’t have to worry about one piece being undercooked. And the thin slices make it easier to cook dishes in less time.
Two Ways to Quickly Shred
How to Cut into Large Chunks
- Slice chicken on a cutting board for raw poultry to help prevent cross-contamination between raw and cooked ingredients.
- If you didn’t wear gloves, ensure to thoroughly wash your hands with comfortably hot water for a minimum of 20 seconds with antibacterial soap to prevent any possible food-borne disease from spreading.
- In addition, sanitize your sink, cutting board, and knife after every use when cutting raw meats.
- I usually sanitize with Pine Sol diluted with water in a spray bottle.
- The video above was shot about a year ago after posting this tip; because I wear rings, I make sure to use gloves now since bacteria may not be washed away if you wear rings.
- Take your rings off, or wear gloves just to be safe!
Suggested Color-Coded Cutting Boards
Food Safety First!
These flexible color-coded cutting mats are super helpful when preventing cross-contamination. Additionally, I often use yellow for poultry, green for fruits, and red for red meat!
The other colors are also used respectively. And because I have a wooden cutting board and don’t want raw juices seeping into the wood or eating a garlicky banana.
The thin and flexible material also makes them easy to clean and store conveniently, using the LIVOD Cabinet Door Organizer to store them.
How to Stop Your Cutting Board from Slipping
This is an important one, especially when it comes to safety. Placing a grip liner or a damp kitchen or paper towel directly flat under your cutting board is always a good practice to prevent your cutting board from slipping, which will prevent fewer kitchen knife accidents.
Suggested for Non-Slip
Sealing Bags for Less Mess Marination
Using sealing bags helps create less mess in the kitchen by having fewer dishes and utensils to wash, even gloves to rub the chicken. Place everything in the bag, let the air out, and seal it well. And the best part is the message! You can then place it in the fridge or freezer.
Plus, it is a great way to meal prep. Make a bunch of these with your favorite marinade ahead of time and freeze. Take them out. Thaw in the fridge, remove from the bag, and cook! Super easy!
Air Fryer Gochujang Chicken Wings
Choose a quick and easy recipe to get started.