The Best Chicken Cutlets You’ll Ever Have (with Corn Flakes!)

Jenny Rosenstrach writes the fantastic food blog Dinner: A Love Story and has a brilliant cookbook memoir of the same name coming out next week (yay!). She and her husband Andy are passionate about nightly family dinners with their two daughters–and swear it’s possible, if you keep things simple and fun. (Fun fact: Jenny has a diary listing every single dinner she’s made since 1998!) Here, she reveals her secret family recipe for the best chicken cutlets ever…

The Best Chicken Cutlets You’ll Ever Have (Secret Ingredient: Corn Flake Crumbs)
By Jenny Rosenstrach from the blog Dinner: A Love Story and the new cookbook Dinner: A Love Story

My mom went to law school at night when I was in fourth grade and instead of allowing us to subsist on McDonalds and pizza delivery for dinner while she was out studying Griswold v. Connecticut, she taught my father how to make one meal: Breaded Chicken Cutlets. We ate a lot of them. A lot. It’s a testament to the recipe that almost three decades later, in spite of a bumpy batch every now and then (the time I served a soggy, rubbery mess of them to my then-boyfriend-now-husband comes to mind immediately), the meal has become a veritable hall-of-famer in my house.

But as well as my mom made them (and still does), it was my Aunt Patty–my 500px Italian Aunt Patty who once even took a cooking class with Giuliano Bugiali–who taught us the secret that took the classic dish to levels previously unforeseen. She taught us to replace plain old bread crumbs in the dredge with Kellogg’s Corn Flake Crumbs. As a mother, I can’t tell you how crucial the extra crispiness becomes when you are competing with twin chicken evils Finger and Nugget. And in the summer, we top them with a mess of arugula and tomatoes, and everyone’s happy.

Recipe: Basic Breaded Chicken Cutlets, aka Chicken Milanese
Serves 4

You’ll need:
Few generous glugs of olive oil (5 to 6 tablespoons), or more as necessary (you are not deep-frying here, but pretty close)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups Kellogg’s Corn Flake Crumbs (available in the bread crumb section of most supermarkets) that have been salted and peppered
4 boneless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 pounds), rinsed and patted dry and pounded like crazy in between two sheets of wax paper with a meat pounder (or, in a pinch, a rolling pin)
Lemon wedges (optional)

Add the oil to a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Set up your dredging stations: one rimmed plate for the eggs, one plate for the flour, and one plate for the bread crumbs. Using a fork, coat your chicken pieces first in the flour (shaking off any excess), then in the egg, then in the crumbs, pressing the chicken into the crumbs to thoroughly coat.

Fry each breast in the oil for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. (I usually do two at a time, but I’ve been known to cram all of them in at once and then spend the entire meal wishing I had just sucked it up and waited the 6 extra minutes.) The cutlets are cooked when chicken is firm to the touch but not rock hard.

Remove and drain the chicken onto a paper-towel-lined dinner plate tented with foil if you have more pieces to fry. Add more oil to the pan and fry the remaining breasts.

Serve with a squeeze of lemon and a lemon wedge.

Note: Feel free to add any of the following to the bread crumbs: a pinch of cayenne, a teaspoon dry mustard, fresh thyme or oregano leaves, some ground flax, sesame seeds or freshly grated Parmesan.

Thank you so much, Jenny! Her new cookbook, Dinner: A Love Story, is part memoir, part recipes, and totally hilarious and inspiring. (Also, pictured above is the inside of her kitchen cabinet, which is painted with favorite family recipes.)

P.S. More best recipes, including tomato soup and bourbon banana bread

(Photo of the chicken by Jennifer Causey for DALS. Photos of Jenny and her cabinet by Whole Living)

  1. I made these tonight for our family dinner, complete with arugula and tomatoes (and corn on the cob and steamed broccoli).
    They were absolutely delicious! My children (2 and 4 yo) loved the chicken and kept asking for more. At one point, my husband was like, “Are you kidding me?!!” because he couldn’t believe how many times he refilled their plates with the chicken. He also thought they were absolutely fab, btw!
    Thank you so much for introducing me to Jenny and DALS! I will be reading her blog daily now. And buying her new book! (so exciting)
    Happy weekend.

  2. Can’t wait to get the book next week. Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

  3. i totally love this!!!Really nice blog you have…i love your photos!!!

  4. Amy says...

    Joanna, It’s time that I properly say thank you. I love your blog for a number of reasons, but one of the primary reasons I look forward to coming back to it every day is I never know what cool new thing/person/site I will be introduced to next! First it was momfilter, and now it is Dinner: A Love Story. Thank you for continually expanding my horizons!

  5. Thank you for featuring DALS! I’ve followed Jenny and Andy’s blog for years- they are so entertaining.

  6. Anonymous says...

    She is SO cute!!! I will try this recipe this weekend. :)

  7. I found this post though Pinterest. The photo was so beautiful that I
    just had to come here to read the recipe! Love it! And love your site

    I would like to invite you to share this post (and other posts :-) )
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    It’s called RecipeNewZ (with Z) –

    I hope you get a chance to visit and to share some of your delicious
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  8. gurl – i have got to try this. in truth – anything looks good now though, as I’m doing a juice fast. this may just be the first solid i get when im done – looks yummy :)P

  9. Chicken is one of my favorite foods, so I know I’d looove this!!

  10. Yum! Sadly we don’t have Kellogg’s Corn Flake Crumbs were I live :(

  11. Looks VERY good! I use potato chips on mine! SHhh! ;o)

  12. Oh my gosh, cornflake chicken is so so so good. It is also amazing (and keeps the chicken really juicy!) to mix in dijon mustard with the cornflakes and bake. You should try it! Recipe was from Real Simple. :)

  13. It also works with goldfish crackers… just sayin’ ;)

    mon amy

  14. Will try this for my son’s bday party – can make into smaller pieces like nuggets :)
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. just ordered her cookbook, I hadn’t looked at her blog in awhile and had no idea she wrote a book!! Going to try this recipe soon, thanks for sharing.

  16. I have had these! With an incredible dipping sauce made of sriracha, mayonaise, lime juice, and soy sauce. Incredible.

  17. I do this all the time. It’s good with a little powdered ranch seasoning (or something like it, if you prefer to leave out the laundry list of crazy ingredients on the store bought kind) and shredded Parmesan cheese in the mix. I made it for my husband last night. Yum!

  18. ooo I love her blog, she makes simple and such delicious food that’s easy for anyone to try.

  19. I love this idea! DALS never fails to inspire. xo!

  20. I make a similar recipe and it’s a favorite for company. I don’t pound the breasts and I dredge them in egg and then a mixture of cornflake cereal, dry ranch dressing mix and parmesan cheese. I bake them at 350 for 30-45 minutes. AMAZING.

  21. Love these “best ever” recipe moments and love Jenny R! Great post!

  22. Adorable! I think that ‘family dinner time’ is very important ritual. Thanks so much for introducing the fantastic blog and upcoming book! :) I’m a fan now!

    PS. Dear Jo! I thought about u and the ‘Grand Canyon visualization trick’ during my trip this weekend (and mentioned your story in my blog as a very personal/humble tribute to u!) Hope u enjoy it!


  23. That sounds yummy, and you’re totally right about her style of writing–she seems so down-to-earth! I particularly love the “I usually do two at a time, but I’ve been known to cram all of them in at once and then spend the entire meal wishing I had just sucked it up and waited the 6 extra minutes” bit. Reminds me of, well, me :)

    I LOVE the recipe inside the cabinet door idea! How awesome!

  24. breaded chicken cutlets seriously are so easy and yummy! here in israel its called schnitzel & we have them at almost every shabbat dinner :) we make them here with spices, or just plain, but they never fail to be good.


  25. I do similar recipe but with rice crispies and thyme! So good!

  26. Oh boy,looks so delicious:) Btw: I can’t wait for Jenny’s cookbook to be out. Totally looking forward to try out her great recipes. Kisses to you both!

  27. bree, i was thinking the same thing about alex! would be a great (easy) surprise meal — for grown-ups and kids. xoxo

  28. I am awful at cooking so my BF does ALL of the cooking. I do like to surprise him every once in a while and whip up some magic. I think I’m going to try this this weekend. It seems simple enough and super yummy! Thanks for the recipe.

  29. Yum! I love cornflake-encrusted chicken. One time, the store was out of chicken breasts so I made cornflake-encrusted salmon instead — highly recommend!

  30. Looks so delicious! My grandmother who is 97 (can you believe it?) makes something similar for us!

  31. I’ve had chicken breaded with corn flakes before.. they are so yummy!!