Breaded Chicken Cutlets


chicken cutlets
I love chicken cutlets, but I always wrestle with how to cook them. I ate them a lot growing up. My mom used to dip the chicken in egg, then breadcrumbs, then pan fry them. I LOVED when we had chicken cutlets for dinner. I’d dip mine in Catalina dressing. Yum!

Tonight one of my sons had a friend come over for dinner and I asked him if he felt like having pizza or chicken. He voted for chicken (good choice Kyle!), so I decided to make breaded chicken cutlets. I thought about trying a new recipe – maybe adding some cheese or herbs to the breading – so I pulled out The New Best Recipe by the editors of Cooks Illustrated (a magazine that I love.) When I looked up chicken cutlets, I found a basic recipe with illustrations. One set of illustrations jumped out at me – the ones describing how to bread the cutlets. They ended with a picture of the breaded cutlets resting on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. The instructions mentioned that letting the breading dry for 5 minutes will stabilize the breading so that it can be sauteed without sticking to the pan or falling off. I knew that I had to try this technique because when making chicken cutlets, I typically have trouble with the breading falling off the chicken when I turn it in the pan. It doesn’t matter whether I use a fork, tongs or a spatula (and I’ve tried them all), the breading inevitably falls off before I finish cooking them.

I followed the instructions and let the breaded cutlets sit for 5 minutes before I pan fried them, and guess what – they cooked perfectly. Not a single bit of breading fell off. I will never make chicken cutlets any other way again. These were delicious with a nice, crispy crust, and the kids (well most of them) loved them. Yum!

I have one more chicken cutlet tip. If your cutlets are thick and they brown on both sides before the center is cooked, throw them on a cookie sheet into a 350 degree oven and let them finish cooking in the oven. Check them every 5 – 10 minutes (depending upon how raw in the center they are.)

chicken cutlets in pan

Breaded Chicken Cutlets

Adapted from The New Best Recipe

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
3/4 cup flour
2 large eggs
3/4 cup olive oil for frying

Place the flour in a shallow dish.   Beat the eggs and put them in another shallow dish, and put the breadcrumbs in a third shallow dish.   Place a wire rack over a baking sheet.

One cutlet at a time, dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess.   Next, dip the chicken in the egg making sure the entire cutlet is covered and letting the excess drip back into the dish.   Finally, put the chicken in the breadcrumbs.  Use your fingers to press the crumbs into the cutlet.   Put the breaded cutlet on the wire rack in a single layer.    Repeat these steps for all of the cutlets and let them sit for at least 5 minutes so the coating can dry.

Heat half of the olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat until it is shimmering but not smoking.  Put two of the cutlets in the pan (you don’t want them crowded) and cook them for about 2 – 3 minutes until the crust is golden-brown.   Flip the cutlets and cook the second side over medium heat for another 2 – 3 minutes until the second side is golden brown.   When both sides are cooked, put the cutlets on a plate lined with a paper towel.   Repeat these steps for the second two cutlets.   If you want to, you can wipe out the pan between batches.   I didn’t do this and mine turned out fine.

Yield:  4 servings



11 comments to Breaded Chicken Cutlets

  • Kyle - 7 year old

    It was really yummy. I liked having them! Being a taste tester is the best part. Thank you for a good dinner.

  • April

    Wow, thank you for the tip about the breading. I’m excited to try the technique.

  • I love panko bread crumbs. Will be trying this soon.

  • What a great tip! I always have had the same problem. I’ve done one particular recipe that I enjoyed where the breading is crushed pretzels, and now I’ll know how to keep the crunchy breading on my chicken. Thanks a bunch!

  • Kathleen

    I am having company tomorrow and I was concerned about the breading falling off my chicken cordon bleu…presentation is every thing!!!Thank you so much for taking the time to share your knowledge,I am no longer nervous…but looking forward to serving my dish!! so grateful, Kathleen

  • S

    These look yummy, but i was surprised to see there is no spice, herb, nothing…just chicken and coating….Never made chicken like that before….if i wanted to make these with minced chicken, like kebabs, do u have any suggestions for doing it that way?

  • KBS

    Thank you for posting this! I always struggle to remember the ratios of egg and panko for breaded cutlets. I easily turned this into a “more grown up” dish (though I’m sure the kids would like it this way too!) with these few simple additions: red pepper flakes, orange zest (can also use lemon zest).

    S – I’m sure you can add any number of other spices, too. From marjoram and basil, to parmesan cheese!

    I did not use flour, and they came out just fine.

    Thanks again!

  • Kit

    This was delicious! I made them with long thin chicken fingers and served them on savory waffles with a drizzle of maple butter. Made your corn salad with the grilled onions and peppers. A great summer supper.

  • StylishCuisine

    So glad you enjoyed this recipe Kit. Also glad that you liked the corn salad. That’s one of my favorite recipes from this summer.

  • Jenny Webb

    I always have this problem, I’m trying this tonite! Thanks

  • Keri

    I used thin sliced cutlets (buy them or so them yourself) and fry right through. I do let them dry for a few before frying them – veggie oil only- let’s be honest – not the healthiest choice but they are so selicious! I also add a little milk to eggs and use garlic and herb bread crumbs.

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