Monday, August 29, 2011

DIY Groceries-Bone-in to Boneless Breasts .99 lb.

Good Monday morning.  Welcome to all my new followers.  I appreciate all you who are following and hope that the information you find here is useful to you.

Although it is getting rarer and rarer, I can occasionally purchase split, bone-in chicken breasts for .99 lb.  I actually prefer to buy these and bone them myself so I can use the bone part to make cooked chicken and chicken broth which I then use in soups and casseroles.

Today I thought I would do a little tutorial on cutting up bone-in chicken breasts.  Do not be afraid to do this, it just takes a little time and a pair of sharp kitchen shears.  Warning, if you do not want to see pictures of raw poultry, Stop Reading Now.  Some safety info:  I cover my counter where I cut up the chicken breasts with waxed or parchment paper.  I throw the waxed or parchment paper away and disinfect the counter area with bleach or disinfectant cleaner.  I wash my hands often and dry them with paper towels so as not to contaminate my cloth ones.  I would keep small children out of the kitchen when cutting up chicken.  Now, if I haven't scared everyone off, here is how easy it is to cut up a chicken breast.

By the time I was able to shop at the store that had the chicken breasts on sale, I was only able to get two packages which weighed about 12 lbs. total, costing about $12.


If you are very lucky at least some of the breasts will be cut like the photo below.  If they are, all that is necessary is to cut the opposite side and remove the tenderloin which shows at the bottom part of the chicken in the photo.


More likely, the breasts will look like the two photos below:


This is what one side looks like.


This is what the other side looks like.


With the kitchen shears, cut the chicken breasts along the bottom of the hump of the breast where it starts to flatten out and kind of straight down from the round bone you see to the right center in the second photo above.  The cut I made can be seen in the above photo.


Slide a finger into the cut and you can feel the tenderloin in the center of the breast. Open the breast up to expose the tenderloin.  With the shears clip the tenderloin loose from the breast at the top of the tenderloin.    Slide fingers along underneath the tenderloin, clipping with the shears where necessary to loosen the tenderloin from the breast.


Above is a photo of the chicken breast with the tenderloin removed.  The tenderloin is shown below the breast.


Turn the breasts around to the other side, and cut the chicken breast away from the rest of the bone with the kitchen shears.


The chicken breast is now in three pieces.  From the top in the photo:  The bone piece, the boneless breast, and the tenderloin.

This how easy it is.  I cut up the 10 chicken breasts that were in the two packages I purchased in about 30 minutes.


My boneless chicken breasts shown above.  I packaged two breasts in a freezer bag, leaving the skin on for protection until they are thawed.  I sometimes do “dump chicken” by adding marinades or add marinade when I am ready to thaw the chicken.  I made five bags.  The two breasts totaled about a pound per bag.


My stack of bones with chicken on them.  These will be cooked with water and vegetables to make cooked chicken and chicken broth.  I generally get at least two cups cooked chicken and 6 to 8 cups broth with this amount of bones.  I sometimes throw in a couple of chicken thighs when I cook these for extra meat and flavor.  I package 1 c. cooked chicken and 1 c. broth together in a freezer bag and any extra broth separately.

I forgot to take a picture of the tenderloins.  There were 10, and I packaged them together in one freezer bag.

For my investment of $12 I got five packages chicken breasts (these will usually give us one meal and leftovers for one meal for my husband), 1 package of tenderloins (a meal for us and two leftover meals for my husband), at least two cups  cooked chicken for soup or casseroles that will make more than one meal, and at least the equivalent of two purchased cans of chicken broth.  I figure my investment in money and time saved a minimum of $10 over what I would have had to spend for 5 lbs. of boneless breasts, a package of tenderloins, some commercially cooked chicken, and a couple of cans of chicken broth.

I hope this encourages anyone who has not done this to go cut up some chicken.

Linking to Hunk of Meat Monday
Ingredient Spotlight


  1. WOW! What a grand tutorial Loy! You're just full of great info & recipes! Thanks a million. Enjoy a wonderful week.

  2. Thank you! I can cut a chicken up pretty good, but I always seem to butcher the breast for some reason. :/ I'll be following your tips next time.

  3. This is fantastic! What a great tutorial. Thanks so much for sharing on Hunk of Meat Monday!

  4. Thanks! I'm going to have to refer to this next time I buy bone-in breasts. They're definitely cheaper, even if you can't get the ,99 sale price.


I love to read your comments and suggestions. Hope that you enjoyed your visit to Grandma Loy"s Kitchen.

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