Heart Chicken
Yield: as many as needed
A few simple cuts of the knife transform a boneless, skinless chicken breast into a festive meal. Fun for Valentine’s Day…or any time! Follow the simple instructions below, and feel free to combine the technique with your favorite sauces and marinades.


  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (keep tenders on)
  • Barbecue sauce, marinade, or spice rub of choice
  • Olive oil or cooking spray for pan


  1. Cut the chicken breasts horizontally (from top to bottom rather than across) without cutting all the way through. You want to be able to fan the chicken open like a book, keeping the tender underneath. (Tip: the breast is more likely to split in two if you remove the tender.)
  2. Cut a small notch in the middle of the thick end-just enough to make the heart shape. You should not have to do much shaping. I remove just a little from the top of each side, right in the center. (Some chicken breasts naturally cooperate a little more than others.)
  3. If using a rub, sprinkle it over both sides of the breast. If you are using chicken that you have marinated, remove it from the marinade and allow the excess to drip off. (This will reduce splattering.)
  4. Heat an oiled skillet over medium to medium-high heat. When hot, place the chicken breast, tender side facing up, and cook for about 3 minutes. Then, flip and cook for 3-5 minutes, depending on the size of the breast, or until the chicken is just cooked through the center. (Look for an internal temperature of 160℉, as the temperature will continue to rise once removed from the heat.) If using barbecue sauce, baste both sides of the cooked chicken with the sauce and flip a few times in the hot skillet to caramelize in the final minutes of cooking.
  5. Serve with love to smiling faces!

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