Chicken breasts can do damn near anything. They can be flattened and pan-fried until crisp, slow-cooked to salsa-drenched perfection, or even just simply pan-seared until golden and crisp in a little butter and olive oil. Turns out, this well-versed dinner staple has one more trick up its sleeve: Chicken breast can be split and filled with anything from spinach and cheese to your favorite chutney. Here's what you need to know about splitting a chicken breast for stuffing or filling.
Stash the Good Stuff in a Pocket
To successfully stuff a chicken breast, you'll need to cut a pocket into it to hold the filling. The pocket should be deep and wide enough to get the filling into, but not so large that the filling can fall out during cooking. Larger breasts make this a bit easier, as does making the pocket at the thickest part of the breast.
Use the tip of the knife to make a slit, but use your fingers to widen the pocket to avoid cutting through the breast or making too large of a hole (3 inches is the sweet spot).
Get a recipe: Spinach and Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breast
How To Split Chicken Breast for Stuffing: The Simplest, Easiest Method
What You Need
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
- Create a small slit with the knife. Place a chicken breast on a cutting board. Press a hand on top of the breast and carefully insert the tip of a chef's knife into the thickest part of the chicken breast.
- Cut an opening through the breast. Cut an opening about 3 inches wide, then cut 3/4 of the way through the breast to create a pocket without cutting all the way through. Repeat with the remaining breasts.
- Dry and season the chicken: Thoroughly dry the chicken on all sides with paper towels. Season with salt on all sides and inside the pocket before stuffing with the filling of your choice.