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It's hard to imagine a more popular food than chicken, or an easier food to fix. Chicken pieces and boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs are especially versatile and easy to prepare.

There are a few techniques that are frequently used to add flavor and excitement to chicken. Here are some general guidelines for using these techniques successfully.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, often called chicken cutlets or supremes, have eclipsed every other type of chicken on the market. Lean, tender, and quick-cooking, they're ideal to use in all kinds of everyday recipes like baked chicken or barbecued chicken, yet they also lend themselves to elegant preparations, such as chicken cordon bleu.

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs also are becoming a big seller at the supermarket. These easy pieces appeal to those who prefer the dark meat of the chicken, yet still don't want to deal with skin and bones.

As fast and delicious as whole pieces of boneless, skinless chicken are to cook with, they're also incredibly easy to cut up and use in dozens of other popular preparations -- from kid-friendly recipes like chicken nuggets to chicken fajitas from south of the border. In this article, we'll show you how to prepare chicken:

  • Flattening, Slicing, and Dicing Chicken
    The techniques of flattening, slicing, and dicing chicken are among the most common chicken preparation techniques used in the kitchen today. So many delicious chicken recipes call for flattening, slicing, or dicing chicken. In this section, we'll teach you how to flatten, slice, and dice chicken to perfection.

  • Rubs, Marinades, and Sauces

    Most people know that, by soaking food in a marinade, that you increase its flavor. There are some special marinades, known as tenderizing marinades, that also make the food more tender, juicy, and delicious. The flavor of chicken is often enhanced by rubs, marinades, and sauces. Learn how to prepare rubs, marinades, and sauces for chicken in this section.

  • Coating and Breading Chicken

    Breaded chicken is another favorite preparation technique commonly used in many kitchens. In addition to showing you how to coat and bread chicken with flour and nuts, we'll also teach you a method for coating chicken that requires very little clean-up.
Let's start preparing chicken by learning how to flatten it.