Chicken cutlets are a favorite around here. I vary them now and then but our absolute favorite is how I prepared them tonight. The variations I’ve done over the years include pounding rather than slicing thinly, eggs and water for the binding rather than eggs and soy sauce and lemon juice, not marinating at all, skipping the flour and marinade and going straight for an egg and water dip then the breadcrumbs, using storebought Progresso breadcrumbs instead of the Panko breadcrumbs (which make for a crispier coating, especially combined with the marinade, then flour, then egg, then breadcrumb dip I did tonight. So if you don’t have everything, improvise. It’s always good! This version is a bit more crispy with the double coating and Panko crumbs.
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced thinly or pounded into thin pieces
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
- 1 egg beaten with a splash of soy, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a spoonful of water
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs or so, seasoned with 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese and some herbs (I used an Italian blend tonight that was meant to go in some olive oil for a dipping sauce. I succumbed at a Foodie store then wondered what to do with them when I got home. This is a great use! As are homemade croutons.)
- oil for frying
I usually make these with the frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts so just slice them thinly when they’re partially defrosted. If you start with fresh chicken, pound until the pieces are thin and probably cut into smaller pieces. I don’t know, we find them more appetizing when they’re cut into smaller pieces rather than one big huge piece.
Marinade in some buttermilk and refrigerate. If you don’t have buttermilk you can use plain yogurt. If you don’t have either you can skip this step but I do like the flavor it seems to add.
When you’re ready to cook, pull the chicken out of the refrigerator while you prepare a few pie pans or other small flat dishes with:
- flour and salt and pepper in one
- egg, soy sauce, lemon juice and water (or just egg and water) in another
- breadcrumbs seasoned as desired in the third (the Parmesan cheese is really good!)
Heat enough oil to cover 1/2″ inch or so in a large frying pan. Test by throwing a pinch of flour in. When it sizzles, the oil is ready.
Use two forks to move the chicken pieces from buttermilk to flour, flipping to coat both sides, then to egg, flipping again to coat both sides, then to breadcrumbs, flipping again to coat both sides. From there, set into the hot oil and cook, turning once, a few minutes per side depending on how thick your pieces are. (Pull one out and cut it in half to test for doneness.
Later you’ll gain a feel for how “done” chicken cutlets feel when you poke a fork through them.) Lift up and let as much oil drain as possible. Then drain on paper towels and keep warm while you finish whatever else you’re serving.
Tonight I made a boxed pasta mix actually, request of my youngest who came grocery shopping with me.
I also served this with a very simple cucumber and tomato salad. I’m growing both cucumbers and tomatoes in the garden so something similar to this is showing up a lot these days on our dinner table. Chopped cucumbers and tomatoes and in this case green onions with a simple dressing of about:
- 1 Tbs honey
- 1 Tbs rice vinegar
- a pinch of salt
- pepper to taste
This dressed about half a long cucumber, peeled and sliced, and 1 roma tomato.
We’re figuring on using the leftover chicken cutlets in some chicken salad of some type for lunches.0