Boning a Chicken Breast

Chicken breast can be purchased with the bone in or boneless and they are available as a whole breast or half breasts. If desired, bone-in chicken breast can have the bone removed before cooking. The following instructions are a guide to removing the bones from the breast.

If desired, remove the skin from the breast. Remove by getting a firm hold at the thickest part of the breast, grasping the skin, and then pulling the skin away from the meat until all the skin has been removed. The chicken breast will be slippery, so to get a firm hold, use a paper towel when gripping the breast.

Begin removing the bones by placing the breast on the cutting board with the bone side up. Start by cutting through the V of the wishbone.

Cut through the cartilage around the top of the keel bone (the bone separating the two halves).

Cut along both sides of the breastbone and then bend each side of the breast backwards until it cracks and reveals the keel bone.

Get a firm hold on the keel bone and peel it, with the cartilage and the breastbone, away from the meat. Cut off any cartilage that did not come off with the keel bone.

If you are working with a chicken breast that has been cut in half with the breastbone in it, you will have to cut the breastbone out. When cutting the breastbone out, be sure to use a sharp knife and cut close to the bone. Follow the contour of the bone as you cut. Use short swiping cuts to help avoid cutting to far into the flesh of the breast.

Remove the remaining bones. Using a sharp knife, hold it close to the rib bones. Following along the ribs, start cutting them away from the meat with short swiping cuts. Pull the bones away from the meat as you cut. Cut out all bones staying as close to the bones as possible. Remove the wishbone by trimming it away from the flesh.

Leave the breast whole or cut it into halves. Find the white tendon on the underside of the breast by lifting the flap (tenderloins) at the wide end of the breast half. The tendon is tough, so it best to remove it. Grasp one end of the tendon and pull it away from the meat while scraping it off with a knife.


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