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Aug 25, 2010 03:02 PM

Best trick for pounded chicken breasts

I used wax paper and a mallet last time and the chicken stuck to the wax paper
Anyone have any good tricks to pound chicken breast flatter in order to roll and stuff?

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  1. Put them in a plastic bag and bang away. Really easy cleanup too.

    1. silipats work well if you already have them for baking.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Quine

        Silpats are wonderful versatile things but, personally, I wouldn't use them for pounding chicken. Since chicken is notorious for incubating and spreading bacteria it's one of the few times I'd choose a disposable item. But that's me. ;>

      2. Channeling Alton Brown here but this really works. 1) Don't use waxed paper, use plastic -- either plastic wrap or a storage bag depending on how big the breasts start out and will finish up. 2) Spray just a mist of water on each side of the breast so it will be able to slide on the plastic. This is why you want plastic and not paper that will tear and get mushy. 3) Use a broad flat object. Mine looks like this I think he uses one that looks more like an ice cream spade. The point is that with chicken you want a flat surface that won't chew up the flesh. You don't need the nubs that tenderize by breaking down fibers. 4) Use glancing blows that come in at an angle and move toward the direction you want to spread the flesh. 5) The point is to achieve a uniform thickness that cooks consistently.

        Works like a charm! Even so, I frequently cheat now that breasts are packaged in thin slice filets. There are some things like the sliced breasts and no-boil lasagna noodles that just start you out on third base and make it all easier and so much more fun. ;>

        1 Reply
        1. re: rainey

          I agree with Rainey, but this simpler method has worked for me. If the breasts are quite thick, start by butterflying them down to a more manageable width with a knife. Put them in a plastic bag and gently firmly whack with the bottom of a small frying pan. Shades of Alton Brown - you're using a tool to multi-task.

        2. Butterfly in half first so it resembles a Valentine......from the outer edge back to the center where it was removed from the backbone..... as others have suggested, a mist of water and place between TWO plastic shopping bags or produce bags.....two bags are easier to handle than opening, closing and later removing from one bag.

          Any implement works fine, a meat tenderizer, the bottom of a pot or pan......even the back of a knife.

 banging.....gentle tapping and sliding away from you if you are using a smooth surface.

          1 Reply
          1. re: fourunder

            When I use a ziplock sandwich bag I simply cut away the sides. I'm going to throw it out anyway... Then I can lift it by the portion of the bag that remains underneath, invert and drop it into the pan or breading dish. ;>

            Of course, you could easily do the same with a repurposed grocery bag. I mean cut it down to a manageable size. I'm all for reuse/recycle/repair/do without! ...I just don't have plastic grocery bags. ;>

          2. I'll side with raney on the "silpat" idea. That doesn't appear to me to be a very good method.
            Use plastic wrap. Not the cheap stuff; get something heavy duty.
            Before you pound the chicken breasts, butterfly them so they acquire a more uniform thickness. Trying to pound the high center down to the thickness of the thin edges is an exercise in futility.
            Always use a mallet with flat surfaces. Those medieval things with points all over them work well for tenderizing a tough piece of beef but they're no good for chicken breast.
            Be careful of "splash" - the juices of the chicken meat can splash onto surfaces of your counter for quite some distance and you'll want to be sure that gets properly cleaned up to avoid cross contamination.

            2 Replies
            1. re: todao

              which is where the plastic bag comes in handy...

              1. re: mojoeater

                And it's all pretty therapeutic after a tough day.