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Best way to chop raw chicken?

Any tips for making this chore any easier? I don't mEan taking apart a whole chicken, I mean slicing or dicing raw chicken breasts for things like Chinese stir fries, or other dishes that require more bite size pieces. Do I need to use a different knife than my large santoku? Flatten the chicken first?

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  1. It's easier for me, if the meat is a little frozen.

    1. Lightly freeze it, the slice and dice, ALOT easier that way!

      1. I'll make it three!

        Slightly frozen. Much easier.

        Lucy

        1. Quatro-ditto.

          A santoku is fine, as is a chef's or longer slicing knife, if the chicken is partially frozen, which is a very good idea. Knife choice depends on the size of the cut you want.

          1. Brilliant suggestion. Is an hour in the freezer enough time?

            2 Replies
            1. re: greenyellow

              Hi Greenyellow,

              I'd say more like 10-15 minutes. You don't want hard frozen, just nice and firm.

              Lucy

              1. re: greenyellow

                An hour is more than enough. I usually use chicken cutlets that I get pounded thin from the butcher. I like to slice thru those when they're completely frozen with a sharp knife.

              2. I agree with everyone else. Freeze until firm but not hard, then slice it. For stir fry, I most often also velvet my chicken, which makes it super tender and velvety as it is served in most Chinese restaurants. To do this mix the white of a large egg and a tablespoon of corn starch, put it in a zip lock bag with your sliced or diced chicken and gently smush it around until all of the pieces are coated. Let it sit for about a half hour. Deep fry a little at a time for a very short period -- only until it just turns white -- and remove to a paper towel to drain. Then use in your recipes. There are lots of directions on the web for velveting chicken. You rarely need as much oil as they call for for the "pre frying" before using the chicken in your recipe. It's so easy to do and it makes a world of difference!

                1. I use my kitchen shears. I couldn't live without them!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: valerie

                    i've recently started doing this, too. works great!

                  2. First, let me assume you are not talking bits size under 1/8" size. For meat size ~1/2", your santoku is more than fine. My guess is that you find it difficult to slice the chicken meat because either your knife or meat slide around This is really because your knife is not sharp enough.

                    To get around this problem, there are two things, one is to freeze the meat first before cutting, this way, the meat won't deform as the knife cuts into it, and therefore it will not slide around. The second solution is to keep your knife much sharper. When the knife is sufficiently sharp, then the knife would cut in the meat instead of pushing the meat around and sliding everywhere.

                    Keep in mind that you pretty much only need one of the two solutions. Combining them is not a good idea. This is because frozen meat dulls a knife quicker.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Using both methods works great for me, Ck! That's because I usually want to slice the chicken breast as thin as thin cut bacon before velveting it. I've never noticed any dulling of my knives by slicing "firm frozen" meats of any kind. But then I do steel my knives every time I take one out of the block. I use the firm-frozen slicing method for stir fry, for slicing beef for stroganoff, lots of times when it's a great technique. I'm curious how much semi-frozen meat you slice at one time to have it dull your knife? '-)

                      1. re: Caroline1

                        :) I don't know for sure because I have not done a comparison study. I also haven't been using the semi frozen meat method for a long time. Not since graduate school, I think. I used to use it. It worked really great for certain slippy meat cuts like meat tendon ... etc.

                    2. Thanks for the tips! I'm going to try the velveting too!

                      1. Have to say, I've never considered slicing chicken breasts to be a chore. Surely it is the work of a few seconds?