Everyone has chicken breasts in their freezer. Channeling my own Bubba from Forrest Gump, my mind was going “grilled chicken… roasted chicken… chicken marsala… chicken parmesan… teriyaki chicken… chicken salad…” You get the point. They all seemed, I dunno… boring. I started yearning for fried chicken. Fried chicken is a lot of work (lots of oil to worry about and you have to have buttermilk in the fridge.) So my mind went–chicken cutlets. Yum. Yum. Yum. So I went right after it.
I started with 2 chicken breasts, pounded nice and thin, then triple dipped. First in seasoned flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs mixed with grated italian cheese. When I was finished breading them, my fingers had the signature glue-like coating of layers. I knew that perfectly crisp, flavorful cutlets were in my immediate future.
While you’re breading, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Cover the bottom of the pan with canola oil. Don’t be stingey. Crispy cutlets need oil to coat–that’s part of what makes them perfect!
Perfect Chicken Cutlets
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 – 2 cups Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup flour
salt & pepper
Rinse and dry chicken breasts. Rip 2 pieces of plastic wrap, about one foot-square each. Place one piece of plastic rap on a cutting board, place one of the chicken breasts in the center and cover with the other piece of plastic wrap. Pound chicken with a mallet (the flat side) until flattened. The chicken cutlet will be pretty big. Cut cutlet in 2 or 3 pieces, depending on your preference. Repeat with the other chicken breast.
In a large saute pan, coat the bottom with canola oil. Heat over medium heat.
While oil is heating, prepare the breading. In 3 wide bowls, fill one with the flour, one with the 2 beaten eggs, one with the bread crumbs & grated cheese. In the flour, add some salt and pepper. Mix with a fork.
Take one of the chicken cutlets, dip it into the flour on both sides (coating well), then dip into the egg on both sides, and the into the bread crumb/cheese mixture on both sides. Place breaded cutlet on a plate. Repeat with the remaining cutlets. Add bread crumbs to that last bowl until finished.
Fry cutlets in the canola oil until crisp and cooked through, adding more oil to the pan as needed.