Chicken breasts that have been skinned, boned and halved are known in culinary parlance as supremes. Rapidly sauteed and coated with a vinegar-and-butter sauce or with a delicate wine-and-almond sauce, as in the recipe, supremes are perfect for a luncheon or light supper. Each supreme makes an elegant single serving.
To prepare the meat, start out with a whole breast from the butcher or one produced at home by disjointing a chicken as shown. The bones and cartilage all have well-defined forms: if you use your fingers and a small, sharp knife, it is short work to separate them from the flesh and remove them after you pull off the breast skin.
- Freeing the Breastbone
- Removing the Breastbone
- Removing the Ribs
- Removing the Cartilage
- Removing the Collarbones
- Removing the Wishbone
- Trimming the Breast
- Cooking the Supremes
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Freeing the Breastbone:
STEP 1: Place the breast skinned side down and slit along the membrane covering the breastbone. Grasp the breast at the collarbones and twist back the breastbone to snap it free.
Removing the Breastbone:
STEP 2: Snap the breastbone from the white cartilage attached to the narrow end of the breast. Gently pry out the breastbone. The ribs may come away with it, as here.
Removing the Ribs:
STEP 3: Any ribs left attached to the breast can be pulled away with your fingers or cut away with the knife. Trim the tips of the ribs from the sides of the breast
Removing the Cartilage:
STEP 4: Push your thumbs underneath the thin, flat piece of cartilage that is attached to the narrow end of the chicken breast and pry the cartilage free.
Removing the Collarbones:
STEP 5: Use the knife tip to cut through the flesh the covers the collarbones, carefully following the contours of the bones. When the bones are attached only at their two ends, pull or cut them free.
Removing the Wishbone:
STEP 6: Feel the shape of the wishbone beneath the flesh and carefully cut away the surrounding flesh with the knife tip. When the wishbone is uncovered, firmly grasp its prongs and pull it out.
Trimming the Breast:
STEP 7: Halve the breast along the cleft that contained the breastbone. Carefully trim off any fat or membrane to shape each piece of meat into a neat-looking fillet.
Cooking the Supremes:
STEP 8: Melt butter in a small saute pan or skillet. Saute the breast halves for 6 to 8 minutes or until they feel springy. Remove the breasts and cover them to keep them warm while you make a pan sauce.
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN STOCK