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Crispiest Breaded Chicken Cutlets

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Crispy, satisfying, and ready in just 30 minutes, these easy breaded chicken cutlets are the perfect solution for quick and delicious weeknight dinners.

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I love spending an afternoon cooking an elaborate meal or tending to a simmering pot on the stove – from making Instant Pot Hibachi Steak And Vegetables to individually Christmas Cookies. But most days, I’m rummaging through my kitchen with only half an hour before dinner and no plan in sight.

That’s where this breaded chicken cutlet recipe comes in. Accordingly, with a crispy-cheesy parmesan breadcrumb coating and the juiciest chicken breasts, it requires no planning. Also, it’s a quick and easy recipe to keep in your arsenal, using ingredients you likely already have. So, why not give it a try? Indeed, you’ll be amazed at how simple and delicious it is!

I keep these breaded chicken cutlets in regular rotation to make busy weeknights easier. However, I do get bored eating the same meal too often. Chicken cutlets aren’t just easy to fit into your schedule, they’re also adaptable to whatever you’re craving that day.

Keep it simple by using them to make leftovers more appealing. Additionally, serve them with a lemony side salad. For a heartier meal, place them on top of pasta or in a sandwich.

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What is a Breaded chicken cutlets?

A chicken cutlet is simply a boneless, skinless chicken breast cut in half horizontally. Accordingly, sometimes they’re pounded with a meat mallet to make them thinner and more even.

Chicken breasts usually take about 15 minutes to cook on the stove. Because they have a thick end and a thin end, the thinner end often becomes overcooked and dry by the time the thicker end is cooked through.

Chicken cutlets, being thinner and more evenly sized, cook faster and more uniformly than whole chicken breasts. This makes them more tender and perfect for weeknight meals.

Ingredients for Breaded chicken cutlets

After a long day, the last thing I want to do is run to the store. Luckily, I never have to when making chicken cutlets because I always have the ingredients on hand.

  • Chicken cutlets or boneless skinless chicken breasts: Cutlets cook faster and more evenly than whole chicken breasts, making them ideal for weeknight meals. You can easily make cutlets from boneless, skinless chicken breasts (see tips below).
  • Salt and pepper: I season the chicken cutlets directly with kosher salt and black pepper to ensure they’re properly seasoned. I also like to sprinkle some flaky sea salt for added crunch and visual appeal.
  • Breadcrumbs: Panko breadcrumbs create the crispiest coating, but you can also use plain breadcrumbs or homemade ones if you have them.
  • Parmesan cheese: Freshly grated Parmesan cheese adds a nutty flavor and toasts nicely, giving the cutlets a beautiful golden crust.
  • Italian seasoning: I use a homemade blend of dried herbs like rosemary, basil, and oregano. Make a big batch and store it in a jar, or use a quality store-bought version.
  • Eggs: Help the breadcrumb mixture adhere to the cutlets.
  • All-purpose flour: Absorbs extra moisture, making the breading extra crispy.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: I prefer to pan-fry chicken cutlets in extra virgin olive oil. For more on cooking with olive oil, check out our guide: Cooking With Olive Oil: Everything You Need To Know! Find our favorite extra virgin olive oils from across the Mediterranean and beyond at our shop.
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How to Make Breaded chicken cutlets

I can typically have the first batch of two cutlets on the table in 30 minutes, with the second batch taking just a few minutes more. A dredging station might sound complicated, but it actually turns breading the chicken into a quick and efficient assembly line.

Get Ready

  • Make the chicken cutlets: If starting with 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, slice them in half horizontally with a sharp knife. Use the palm of your hand to hold the chicken flat while slicing smoothly with the other hand in as few strokes as possible (more tips below).
  • Season the chicken: Generously season both sides of the chicken cutlets with salt and black pepper.
  • Prepare a dredging station: Set up three large, shallow bowls next to the chicken. Accordingly, arrange them from left to right: In the first bowl, add ½ cup all-purpose flour. Afterward, beat 2 eggs in the second bowl. Also, in the third bowl, mix together 1 cup breadcrumbs, ½ cup grated Parmesan, and 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning. Finally, set up an empty plate or tray on the right for the breaded cutlets.
  • Bread the chicken cutlets: One at a time, place a chicken cutlet in the bowl of flour and coat both sides, shaking off the excess. Transfer the cutlet to the bowl of beaten eggs and coat both sides, letting the excess drip off. Then, place the cutlet in the breadcrumb mixture and coat both sides, gently pressing the breadcrumbs onto the cutlet to ensure they stick. Set the breaded cutlet aside on the reserved plate. Repeat with the remaining cutlets. Let the cutlets sit for about 10 minutes to allow the breading to adhere.
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Pan-Fry the Breaded chicken cutlets

  • Heat the oil: Set a wire rack over a sheet pan next to your stove. In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet (about ¼ cup). Heat until the oil is shimmering but not smoking. To test if the oil is ready, drop in a few breadcrumbs. If they sizzle gently, the oil is ready. If they sizzle loudly and brown quickly, lower the heat slightly.
  • Pan fry the cutlets: Working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan, carefully add 1 or 2 cutlets to the pan. To avoid splattering hot oil, use tongs to lay each cutlet down starting with one end near the edge of the pan closest to you, then carefully lay it away from you towards the far edge of the pan.
  • Flip: Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the cutlets to the wire rack to drain and repeat with the remaining cutlets, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil as needed between batches.
  • Serve: Optionally, sprinkle on flaky sea salt to finish. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over the cutlets.

How to Make Cutlets from Chicken Breasts

You can purchase pre-prepared Breaded chicken cutlets, but it’s more economical and quite simple to make your own using boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Here’s how to cut chicken breasts into cutlets:

  • Slice: Place the chicken breast on a cutting board and flatten it with the palm of your hand. Use a long, sharp, non-serrated knife such as a chef’s knife or a boning knife. Slice the chicken horizontally in half, as smoothly as possible, and with as few cuts as you can, starting from the thickest side.
  • Pound: I typically skip this step if my cutlets are relatively even. However, if they’re not as uniform as desired, you can use a meat pounder. Place the cutlet between two sheets of wax paper. Gently use the smooth side of the meat pounder to shape the cutlet. The aim is to achieve an even ½-inch thickness, not to flatten it like schnitzel. If you accidentally flatten it too much and end up with schnitzels, you’re all set for making this Crispy Chicken Recipe.
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Optional: Upgrade with a Marinade!

Chicken naturally possesses plenty of savory, comforting flavor, so this recipe is delicious on its own. However, if there’s extra time, marinating the chicken cutlets can enhance their flavor and juiciness. Even a quick 15-minute marinade is sufficient to tenderize and infuse the chicken with flavor. Here’s how to marinate:

  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the juice and zest from 1 lemon, a minced garlic clove, ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
  • Add the chicken cutlets and toss to coat.
  • Cover and let the chicken marinate for 15 to 30 minutes.

How to Store Breaded Chicken Cutlets So They Stay Crispy

Store any leftover chicken cutlets in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To retain the crispiness of the breading, reheat them in a 400°F oven for approximately 10 minutes, or until warmed through.

What to Serve with Breaded Chicken Cutlets

I enjoy whipping up breaded chicken cutlets for a quick weeknight dinner. They’re speedy, straightforward, and adaptable, giving the impression of a whole new meal with each preparation.

Pair the cutlets with a sauce of your choice and a couple of sides. Personally, I adore the smoky flavor of The Famous Fry Sauce, but you can also experiment with Yum Yum Sauce or Garlic Parmesan Sauce . Alternatively, transform the leftovers into a delicious sandwich. I enjoy substituting them for seared chicken breast in an Chicken Cutlet Recipe.

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Conclusion

Breaded chicken cutlets are a versatile and delicious dish that can easily be tailored to suit your tastes and dietary needs. With a little practice, you’ll be able to make perfect cutlets every time. Whether you prefer them classic, cheesy, or spicy, breaded chicken cutlets are sure to become a favorite in your household. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and start cooking!

faqs

How to keep fried chicken cutlets crispy?

For the crispiest chicken, place a rack on a sheet pan and let the cutlets drain on it instead of using paper towels. You can keep them warm and crispy in a 250°F oven for up to an hour before serving.

Why aren’t my chicken cutlets crispy?

Avoid overcrowding the pan to ensure the chicken gets extra crispy. Plan to cook at least two batches. Bread the chicken and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before frying to ensure the breading sticks well.

What is the trick to getting crispy chicken?

To make sure the breading sticks to the chicken, use a double coating of flour. This results in an extra thick, super crispy coating on your chicken. After coating the chicken in seasoned flour, dip it into an egg wash, then return it to the flour for a second coating.

How do you’re crisp breaded chicken?

For reheating fried chicken in the oven, the optimal approach is to bake it quickly at a high temperature. Preheat the oven to 400°F, and place room-temperature leftovers on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. The wire rack promotes air circulation, crisping up the underside of the chicken.

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Golden-brown crispy chicken cutletsPin

Crispiest Breaded Chicken Cutlets

In this easy weeknight recipe, a cheesy parmesan breadcrumb coating ensures the chicken is extra crispy while keeping the meat incredibly juicy and tender. Enjoy it in a crispy chicken sandwich, alongside a simple lemony salad, or sliced as a pasta topping.
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 peoples
Calories: 271.7kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken cutlets or 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (approximately 12 ounces)
  • Kosher salt plus optional flaky sea salt for serving
  • Black pepper
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs preferably Panko
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • Extra virgin olive oil for frying or substitute with high-quality neutral oil like avocado or sunflower oil
  • Lemon wedges for serving

Instructions

  • Prepare the Chicken Cutlets: If using chicken breasts, slice them in half horizontally. Hold the chicken flat with one hand and slice smoothly with the other hand.
  • Season the Chicken: Generously season both sides of the chicken cutlets with salt and black pepper.
  • Set up a Dredging Station: Arrange three large plates or shallow bowls in a row. Place flour in the first bowl, beaten eggs in the second, and breadcrumbs mixed with Parmesan and Italian seasoning in the third. Set an empty plate or tray on the right for the breaded cutlets.
  • Bread the Chicken Cutlets: Working one at a time, coat each chicken cutlet in flour, then dip it in the beaten eggs, and finally coat it with the breadcrumb mixture. Press the breadcrumbs gently onto the cutlet to ensure they stick. Place the breaded cutlet on the reserved plate and repeat with the remaining cutlets. Let them sit for about 10 minutes to allow the breading to adhere.
  • Heat the Oil: Set a wire rack over a sheet pan next to your stove. In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add enough oil to cover the skillet. Heat until it’s shimmering but not smoking. Test the oil by dropping in a few breadcrumbs. If they sizzle gently, the oil is ready.
  • Pan Fry the Cutlets: Cook the cutlets in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Carefully add 1 or 2 cutlets into the pan, laying them down starting with one tip by the edge of the pan nearest you and laying them away from you towards the farthest edge of the pan to avoid splattering.
  • Flip: Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked cutlets to the wire rack to drain excess oil.
  • Serve: Optional: sprinkle flaky sea salt over the cutlets. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over the cutlets.

Notes

  • The wire rack allows airflow, helping to drain excess oil and prevent the chicken from becoming soggy as it cools. If you don’t have a wire rack, you can improvise with tongs set on their side or a line of metal forks with the tines facing down.
  • Store any leftover chicken cutlets in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. To retain the crispiness of the breading when reheating, place them in a 400°F oven for about 10 minutes or until warmed through.
  • Please note that the nutrition information provided does not include the extra virgin olive oil, which adds about 80 calories per serving if you use ¼ cup of oil.

Nutrition

Sodium: 342.6mg | Calcium: 129mg | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Vitamin A: 173.9IU | Sugar: 1.2g | Fiber: 1.4g | Potassium: 229.8mg | Cholesterol: 85.9mg | Calories: 271.7kcal | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6.7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.7g | Saturated Fat: 3.2g | Fat: 12.8g | Protein: 15.9g | Carbohydrates: 22.5g | Iron: 2.1mg

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