Butterflying Chicken Breasts

This is one of those cool kitchen tricks that makes me feel pretty badass. I love taking these misshapen lumps of chicken and with a little knife work and some well-placed whacks with a pounder (heck, a hammer would work if that’s what you have!) turning them into very passable chicken cutlets – for a fraction of the price.

And this recipe, which is kind of a master recipe for any kind of chicken dish like this (vary the ingredients!) is so easy and fast and delicious . . . Watch the video here! 

To butterfly chicken breasts:

Place breast on a cutting board. Using a SHARP knife, slice the thing horizontally in half. Don’t worry if you aren’t precise. 

Pound it evenly flat. The fatter end will need more pounding than the other end. To minimize splatter, you can do this within a Ziploc bag.



  • Flattened chicken breasts
  • ½ c flour
  • salt and pepper, maybe some dried tarragon or oregano
  • vegetable oil for sautéing (or olive oil)
  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 onion, chopped up pretty fine
  • 3 cloves garlic (or more) minced or pressed
  • ½ c white wine (optional – you can definitely sub more chicken stock or water)
  • ½ c low sodium chicken stock
  • juice from 2 lemons
  • chopped parsley and ½ sliced lemon (for garnish)
  • 1 TBS butter, optional, for finishing the sauce . . .
  • ADDERS: 1 bunch kale or spinach, chopped up. Leftover tomatoes, roasted or plain. Zucchini. Red peppers. Use your imagination and what’s in your fridge!



  • Season the flour with salt and pepper (and dried seasonings, if using). Dredge the chicken breasts in the flour on both sides.
  • Heat the oil in a pan
  • Saute the chicken breasts, in batches, on both sides until golden brown (maybe 4 minutes a side) Remove from pan to a plate.
  • In the same pan (don’t clean it!), add a tsp more of oil, then add the onions and the mushrooms. Cook until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms have begun to exude their liquid.
  • Stir in the garlic and sauté until it starts to smell good, about 30 seconds or so.
  • Add in the wine and chicken stock and stir up any browned bits
  • (if you are using any optional stuff, add it in here and cook for  a few minutes)
  • Put the chicken breasts back on top and cover. Reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Cook for 10 minutes or so, until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice, lemon slices, and parsley. Stir in the butter if using.

SO AMAZING over rice, pasta, spaghetti squash, or quinoa . . .

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