How to Pound Chicken Breasts Like a Pro

Chicken breasts can be chopped up or cooked whole. They can also be pounded thinly or sliced thinly, for dishes like chicken piccata or various stuffed, grilled chicken recipes. There is no need to both slice and pound the chicken, since you can pound it as thinly as you need it.

Before you start, you will need either a meat mallet with a smooth side or a flat-bottomed frying pan. A wooden rolling pin is another option. Do not use a spiky meat mallet because these are for tenderizing beef and will tear right through your chicken or leave it looking ragged.

Spray some oil on to the meat so the mallet slides on it, then begin to pound in the center. Bring down the mallet and let it slide off one side, rather than just crash into the center of the chicken breast.

Put the chicken between two sheets of wax paper or saran wrap before you begin, if you like, to minimize mess. Saran wrap is perhaps the better option because wax paper can tear. Put a little water between each sheet of saran wrap and the chicken, and then you will find the mallet slides more easily.

You can either turn the meat between each blow or let the meat mallet slip off in a slightly different direction each time you hit it, in order for the chicken to have an even thickness. Keep pounding it until it is a quarter of an inch thick all over.

Beef, turkey, pork and most other meats can be pounded in the same way. Remember that this is not a test of strength. The goal is not to see how hard you can hit the meat but to get it uniformly thin and not tear it.

Ideas for Flattened Boneless Chicken

Roll a flattened chicken breast around a filling and wrap bacon around it for a classic dish. You might need to use toothpicks to secure the filling and the bacon, so remember to remove them before serving the stuffed chicken recipe. This is especially good if you grill it, because of the smoky flavor you will get.

You can flatten chicken and slice it into strips for making stir fries. Alternative you can roll a flattened chicken breast in flour and pan fry or broil it for a couple of minutes or until it is done. Flattened chicken breasts cook very fast.

Recipe for Pounded Pork Tenderloin

What you will need:

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 lbs pork tenderloin or boneless chicken
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

How to make it:

Pound the pork or chicken with the smooth side of a meat mallet to tenderize it. Stir together the soy sauce, sugar, salt and pepper and marinate the meat in this mixture for two hours.

Heat the oil in a skillet over a moderate heat, and then pan fry the meat for a minute or until it is cooked through. You will find that pounded meat cooks much faster than thicker meat, which means that pounded recipes like this one are fantastic if you are in a rush.