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Raw chicken breast on parchment and cutting board being sliced with a knife.

How to Cut Chicken Breast

Learn what it means to cut chicken breast across the grain and how to cut chicken for stir fries, salads, tenders and more.
Course Appetizer, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine All
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 6 minutes
Servings 1 sliced chicken breast



  • Identify the grain or muscle fibers in the chicken breast. If you're not sure, line the blade of your knife parallel with the little white "lines" in the breast. These are the muscle fibers or the grain.
  • Choose a sharp knife like this Wusthof boning knife.
  • Start at one end and slice the chicken against the grain or perpendicular to the muscle fiber "lines".
    For dicing for chicken salad: Cut the slices into smaller pieces from one short edge of a slice of chicken to the other.


If the chicken is too thick, you have a couple of options:
  1. Place the chicken breast between two sheets of parchment (or one long piece folded over it).
  2. Using a meat tenderizer or the back of a skillet, firmly rap the chicken breast until it thins out (this is a great stress-reliever!).