How do you prep chicken breasts?

Joined Aug 26, 2010
I realize this will probably go down as one of the stupidest questions ever asked on here, but it drives me nuts.

When buying boneless, skinless breasts, there's always a couple of pieces of fat left on the breast and sometimes what I assume is a major vein/artery between the tender and the breast proper. 

My wife, God bless her heart, will open the package, and just roast or boil the things.  She doesn't believe in "prep".  If you've ever had a piece of cooked chicken fat, you know how utterly disgusting it is.  I can't get her to brine, marinate, or pound the breasts, but that's another story.  I have tried different knives and can't seem to find the right "tool" for the job of tearing those fat pieces off. 

Of course, if you have a link to a video, even better /img/vbsmilies/smilies//smile.gif. 

Yes, I truly am this inept. 
Joined Feb 13, 2008

For trimming you want something agile enough to use at awkward angle, comfortable to hold, sharp and ideally not too wide.

Not that profile matters a great deal but the "right" knife for trimming is a petty aka a short slicer aka a long paring knife.  Anything sharp in the 5" to 7" range with a relatively narrow profile is perfect.  Anything sharp that's not so long or short as to feel awkward is almost as good. 

Strictly as a FWIW, I've pretty much stopped using my boning and paring knives in favor of my petty.  Because it's the knife I use to trim everything but the biggest pieces of meat, doesn't mean it's the one you should use too.   

My petty is a 6" Nogent slicer, and it's the bottom knife in this Sabatier family portrait.  I especially like it because it has a full-size handle which is rare with shorter knives.

Let's keep some perspective though.  The key is to keep the knife so sharp that it doesn't take any effort to cut the fat off.  If the little chef's (above the petty in the picture) were much sharper than the petty, it would be better for the task even though it's a little longer and wider. 

Hope this helps,

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Joined Jan 27, 2010
I love your set BDL. For me, I usually use only two knives. One is 5" thin and sharp knife and the second is 6' or 7" knife. /img/vbsmilies/smilies//smile.gif
Joined Oct 2, 2010
Gobblygook, just like you, I also look on chickenfat in boiled (poached) preparations as disgusting.

On the other hand, when frying or roasting chickenbreast, the fat melts almost completely and, that's what makes roasted chicken so delicious.

Don't know if you remove the skin when poaching chickenbreast? When done the little remaining fat can be removed easily without any tools at all.
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Rendered chicken fat is basic to several cuisines, particularly those with dietary restrictions against pork.

It doesn't have quite the umami of duck fat, but is good stuff anyway.
Joined Apr 3, 2008
I like a little fat on my meat.  Especially if it's fried, pan seared, or roasted.  I don't like fat or skin nn poached chicken but that is super easy to remove once it's cooked.
Joined May 5, 2010
Chicken fat rules guys........when I was young mom used to render down the fat and store it in a jar in the fridge (shmaltz)

Rendered fat with salt as a treat is devine.
Joined Apr 3, 2010
Depends what dish you are prepping for. The basic is remove fat and tiny muscle connection.  I remove the filet or tender since I buy 10 ounce breast for most everything. Also some cuisines fry the fat till crisp and use it . It is called Gribbins or Gribbiness. Not healthy but tasty  sometime used to garnish chopped liver or pate
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