What is an “airline breast”?

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The term “airline breast” is one primarily used by butchers and chefs, here’s what it means:

Generally an airline breast is a game bird or poultry breast (often chicken) that has not been entirely deboned.  Though the rib cage has been removed, the largest bone in the wing (closest to the breast) has been left attached, and frenched for better presentation. Quail airline breasts can be a little bit different, and instead are both breasts as one piece with the skin and both wings attached.

What is an airline breast for?

The airline breast is an older, more elegant style of presentation, where the bone is used to add color and shape to the plate (not unlike the frenched bones on racks of meat and bone-in rib chops).  If you’re fabricating your own poultry (or your butcher is willing to cut them for you), consider giving it a try to add an unusual, classic look to your dinner.  If roasting them, you may need to wrap the bone in foil for part of the cooking process to keep it from burning.

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