The tale of a chicken cutlet.

Are you familiar with the term chicken cutlet?  If not, let me put it in these terms.  You go to the store and buy a boneless skinless chicken breast.  It's this thick and chunky piece of meat that sometimes even has a little bit of fat on it.  Now you go to a restaurant and order some fabulous chicken dish and you get this tender, very thin and juicy piece of meat.

Maybe it's just me, but for a long time I just could not figure out how to get that kind of chicken at home.  Enter the term chicken cutlet.  This is that sweet thin piece of chicken that soaks up any kind sauce wonderfully.  So this is a quick how to on how to get yourself one of those.

Now there is nothing glamorous about a fledgling piece of meat or the fact that I only had my iphone to photograph with, so I chose the dramatic black and white photos to tell the story of the chicken cutlet.

Take a chunky, straight from the super market, boneless, skinless chicken breast.  Place it on parchment paper on a sturdy counter top.
chicken 1
Using a sharp knife, cut the chicken in half horizontally.  If your chicken is not too thick, you can skip this step, but I have never met a piece that didn't need a slice. Cut off any pieces of white fat.
chicken 2

chicken 3
The preferred tool would be a meat tenderizer so if you have one, pound out the chicken until it's extremely thin.  If you do not have one of these, lay a piece of parchment paper on top of the chicken and use the bottom of a very sturdy, thick glass and pound it out really thin.  You could use a rolling pin to pound it too.
chicken 4
In summary, the step I found the most important is cutting it in half horizontally.  This leaves only a little pounding left to do.  I'll be back soon with a couple of my favorite recipes using chicken cutlets.  If you take my word for it, try this one or this one.  They were part of my picture debacle so there are not photos of the finished product, but they sure are tasty.


  1. haha I love your black and white pictures. Seems like the perfect tone for pounding chicken.

  2. oh, great how to. I've always wanted to do this, but still haven't. I think we will make your chicken with artichokes! YUM!!!!!

  3. Okay, I'm feeling stupid admitting this, but I have attempted this many times and could never seem to get what I was looking for. I never knew to cut it in half!! I would hammer the heck out of it with a mallet but then it just got obliterated. Thank you for this post!!

  4. Ashlea, the black and white pictures came out great...and I love chicken cutlets...although do not cook often this way :-)

  5. You are not alone Sarah Anne. I thought the same thing! Really appreciate technique posts. If only they would have taught us things like this in school. Ha Ha.

  6. hi ashlea! sorry i haven't gotten back to you - baby's been very sick (hospital visit sick!). anyway, the tenders were DELICIOUS! definitely better fresh from the oven but reheated pretty well considering. i really appreciated the recipe! love this post with the b&w photos - gonna try the slicing trick.

  7. The meat tenderizing part sounds so much fun. Definitely makes for some good stress relief!

  8. Looks like a great skill. I would be the options are endless of what to do with thin chicken. Can't wait to see the recipes you share.

  9. I had a cheap mallet that didn't get the job done. It just wasn't weighted properly and my rolling pin worked better. Do you have a suggestion for a good mallet?

  10. What a fabulous chicken dish! I think I need to get a proper mallet. Love yours :-))

  11. This lighter version of chicken parmesan is aweosme! So scrumptious looking.



  12. great how to. the cutting is what I've been missing all these years.