As requested, this post is in response to a reader’s comment. No, it is not on onions.
Here are step-by-step instructions for deboning a chicken breast. As I cook different meats I will break down how to butcher them as well.
So here is a chicken breast and a deboning knife. I highly recommend buying one of these knives. They are a little pricey, but this is the second most used knife in my kitchen.
First remove the skin and fat from the breast. This is optional. Sometimes I leave the skin intact for a recipe. By searing the skin and fat you can render some pretty good flavors for soups and stews. Normally though, I remove the skin. The easiest way to do that is grab a loose section and pull with one quick motion. Then take the knife and slice away any remaining fat.
Basically take the knife and cut straight down to the bone from one end of the breast to the other. You can see where the breast bone sticks out at the fat end to help the start of the cut.
Using the knife cut against the bone working slowly across the breast. By pulling the meat back while slicing, it becomes easy to carve away the bone without wasting the chicken.
In the photo above you can see where the bone ends and the meat cuts back in. Once you have separated the breast to this point, just take the knife and cut back toward the bone creating an L.
All that remains is the wish bone. In the photo above you can see how the bone came back in before moving to the top of the joint.
Depending on which side of the breast you have this bone can be small and simple like above or big and meaty. If it turns out to be the big half don’t worry if you lose some meat with it. To remove, just use the knife blade to cut against the bone through the meat until removed. By holding the bone up and letting the meat hang down it is easy to see where to trace the knife blade against the bone. Use the weight of the meat to help separate the bone from it as you draw the blade downward.
So here is a finished breast. Of course some people don’t like the tender attached. The next step is optional but does speed up the cook time for the breast. When I remove the tenders I usually set them aside for another meal where I will dice up the meat.
To remove turn the breast over and find the loose side of the tender. Then slice it from the rest of the meat.