Food

Five Things to Do With a Chicken Cutlet

Five Things to Do With a Chicken Cutlet

The other night, we were out of ideas for dinner and decided to do what we’ve done at least eight thousand other times in our dinner-making lives…

We set up a dredging station (one shallow bowl of flour, one with egg, one with breadcrumbs), dredged four chicken breasts, and pan-fried them until they were just right — crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside. Breaded chicken cutlets were the first thing my mom taught my dad how to make when she decided to go to law school (leaving him with three mouths to cook dinner for, three nights a week), the first thing I learned how to make when I was on my own, and one of the first real meals I convinced my onetime chicken-nugget obsessed toddlers to love. You’d think that by now, we would’ve grown out of them, but it’s almost the opposite. They get better and better, and over the years and I’ve built more meals around them than I can count. (My husband every single time: “Why don’t we make these more often?”) Here are a few of my favorites, and I hope you’ll share some ideas as well.

Top Five Things We Do With Breaded Chicken Cutlets

  1. Serve them on a large platter topped with whatever our salad of the moment is. (Shown: pea shoots, tomatoes, minced red onion, from a few summers ago.) Or just toss directly into a cobb or caesar or kale or arugula salad.
  2. Stuff them between potato roll buns and give them the crispy fish sandwich treatment topped with slaw.
  3. Serve them with a no-cook dipping sauce (for a long time in our house, this was known as “ketchup”).
  4. Slice on the bias and add to a rice bowl along with roast vegetables (Brussels sprouts, broccoli) and drizzle with a soy-ginger (or your favorite) vinaigrette.
  5. Top with tomato sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan; bake for 20 minutes at 350°F for Chicken Parm.

The How-to: Breaded Chicken Cutlets

5 to 6 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as necessary
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups plain or panko bread crumbs*
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large boneless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds), rinsed, patted dry, and pounded to create an even thickness throughout (place chicken in between plastic wrap and bang using a rolling pin or a meat pounder)

Add 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 seasoned with the salt and pepper. Using a fork coat your chicken pieces first in the flour (shaking off the 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. Try not to crowd the pan. The cutlets are cooked when chicken is firm to the touch but not rock hard.

Remove and drain the chicken on to 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.

Note: Feel free to add any of the following to the breadcrumbs: 2 teaspoons mustard powder, a pinch of cayenne, fresh thyme leaves, sesame seeds, or freshly grated Parmesan.

P.S. Another chicken building block and a cozy white bean soup.

  1. Elizabeth says...

    I learned how to cook for myself in my early 20s, when I was a strict vegetarian. So although I can pull a summer vegetable risotto or a dal makhani out of my back pocket anytime, this kind of easy meat preparation is exactly the kind of thing I have no idea how to do. Thank you! And more, please!

  2. Betsy says...

    I make mayo chicken. Did it last night after coming home to chicken breasts in the fridge, and no clue. My grandmother made mayo chicken, and I miss eating her version. Even though I make it the same, it isn’t the same without her here. Boneless chicken breast(s). Spoon mayo(no Miracle Whip, ugh) on top of chicken breasts, and on the sides. Sprinkle with Lawry’s seasoned salt, little garlic salt(powder), and a little pepper. But the Lawry’s is the magic ingredient. Bake and voila! My favorite. The chicken is so moist and delicious, even though it it boneless. So delicious!

  3. Air fryer pizzas too – I a little pizza sauce and mozz on a tortilla, sliced chicken cutlet, thin sliced caramelized red onion, steamed broccoli, drizzle of BBQ sauce.

  4. Allison says...

    I’m literally eating leftover chicken cutlet for lunch as I’m reading this—talk about serendipity! They really ARE delicious!

  5. Annie says...

    Came to the comments to HIGHLY suggest using leftover pickle brine to brine the chicken pre-dredge. So good.

  6. You actually can’t beat a good chicken cutlet! We’ve started to make them for dinner party guests (even though hubs originally thought they weren’t fancy enough). But I soak my chicken a few hours (or overnight time permitting) in milk with garlic salt, smoke paprika and fennel seed. They are ALWAYS a hit and everyone tries to guess that ingredient – it’s always the fennel ;)

  7. Dorothy DeMaria says...

    Adding a tablespoon or two of lemon juice to the egg (depending on how many eggs you’re using) is a nice touch

    • Nancy says...

      I find adding lemon zest to the breadcrumbs helps too. Mixing the zest with a bit of flour helps to break up the clumps and disperses it more evenly.

  8. Katie says...

    I grew up with these and they are one of the first things I learned how to cook! I love this post, thank you for sharing!

  9. Jennie says...

    I get it – but have never had problems. I would tell you to line your counter with newspaper to make you feel better but I am certain I am the only human in the world that still gets the Sunday paper!

    • Hattie says...

      Jennie, we’re the only one on our street who gets the print version of two Sunday newspapers There’s something so comforting these days about the custom of holding the Book Review or the Magazine in your hand.

  10. M says...

    Anyone else get freaked out about dealing with raw chicken? I think I am just way too hyperaware of germs nowadays. I don’t mind grilling or roasting chicken (minimal handling) but it’s the whole dredging thing I guess.

    • Janice says...

      I use thin disposable plastic gloves when handling raw chicken and they are also perfect for dredging and dipping. When you are done, peel the gloves off and toss in the trash. Voila!

  11. Amy says...

    Yum. Adding to the Friday night dinner menu!

    Also, just want to say: I continue to really love this comment section here at CoJ. It’s a nice little community we have here, and I’ve been really impressed by how the CoJ team has responded thoughtfully to comments, especially in the past few months. Happy to be here!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      That is so sweet of you, Amy! Thank you so much. I love our community, too, so much. xo

  12. Kelly says...

    I think that a chicken cutlet is one of the universally loved foods!

  13. E says...

    https://www.recipetineats.com/truly-golden-crunchy-baked-chicken-tenders-less-mess/

    If you aren’t into frying, try this. I’ve been using this technique recently and it’s genius . You combine the egg and flour into one step and toast the panko before breading , it totally works and is less of a mess. My oven igniter crapped out last night so I had to fry them and it worked well for that too. Highly recommend!

    • Jen says...

      You have changed my life!

    • Amy says...

      Thank you! Love this – I HATE frying foods.

  14. Courtney says...

    We bake ours instead of frying, but otherwise do something very similar. One thing I learned from Hello Fresh that really elevates it is adding some lemon zest (and parmesan) to the breading mixture. Yum.

  15. Maggie says...

    I’ve taken to making chicken schnitzel a lot too! It happily accepts sauces of all kinds but sometimes just a squeeze of lemon and sides are the best fit. Its an all-season, light yet satisfying meal for the ages.

  16. I don’t eat meat, but we eat Quorn fillets like this with katsu curry sauce and jasmine rice

  17. Bethany says...

    Does anyone experience a problem when making chicken (or fish) this way where the breading doesn’t adhere well to the protein and kind of flakes or peels off during or after cooking? This is a frequent issue for me. After doing all those steps to get a beautiful crispy coating on the chicken, large chunks of the coating will dislodge themselves while I’m frying the pieces, even though I try not to jostle them or grip too hard with the tongs. Or if the coating stays intact while cooking, it will peel off when I try to slice the finished cutlets for my kids. Just looks ugly and I don’t want to serve naked chicken surrounded by piles of crumbs. :( I’m a pretty good cook so it drives me crazy that I can’t seem to master this simple, versatile and family-friendly meal! Someone help me please!

    • Julie says...

      Besides the seasoned flour, seasoned egg, panko dredging technique, two things I do after appling the panko are 1. really press the panko into the protein. Smush that stuff on there. And 2. let the breaded cutlets sit in the fridge for about 15 minutes.

      I haven’t had breading issues since.

    • Gilly says...

      My parents taught us how to make this when I was small and we experimented with the order of the dredging stations…i THINK the combo we landed on was egg–> flour–> egg again–> breadcrumbs. Also, if you tenderize your cutlets to 1/2 inch or so you should be able to cut them into strips with a study pair of scissors, which might keep things intact better than the back and forth motion w/ a serrated knife. Happy cooking :)

    • Lane D. says...

      My Italian-American family trick:
      -pat the chicken dry with paper towels first!
      -once dried, slice breasts/thighs in half for a thinner piece.
      -use a mallet (or an empty vino bottle) to ‘pound’ or tenderize.

      We omit the flour, opting to dust the now dry, flattened protein with grated pecorrino/locatelli/whatever you have grated. Once the protein has cheese snow on top, we dip the pieces:
      -dry bread crumb
      -wet egg wash (Mom adds a dash of water for viscosity)
      -back into the dry bread wash

      When I have time, I often will bread all my pieces and then store in the fridge. I then ‘fry’ (pan cook in olive oil) for a perfect texture-the extra time in the fridge adds to the crispiness!

      Maybe it’s the snowy weather in D.C., but typing this out brought a tear to my eye…what I wouldn’t give to be in the kitchen with my grandparents and mom again, making too many cutlets over too many glasses of wine!

      Happy comfort cooking <3

    • Marissa Lanterman says...

      A couple things to try:

      Make sure you pat the chicken as dry as you can before you dredge, and give it a good pat down after you dredge. Let the coated chicken hang out for 10-15 minutes after you dredge and before you fry.

      Sounds like you may already be doing this but, absolutely refrain from touching the chicken once it’s in the pan. If it’s sticking to the pan at all, it’s not ready to flip.

      Are you using enough oil? There should probably be at least a one knuckle-deep layer in your skillet. You may want to check that the oil is up to 350 before you start to fry– I bet that there could be some kind of steam situation that causes separation of the coating if the chicken is cooking too fast or slow.

    • Hillary says...

      Hi Bethany – I experience the same issue, and found a couple things that help! First is to make sure your chicken is very dry before breading (pat dry). I have also found it helps a lot to chill the cutlets before frying, either uncovered in the fridge on a baking sheet – at least 20 minutes and up to 8 hours. If short on time, a quick chill in the freezer also works. Good luck! :)

    • Kathryn says...

      One life changing tip that I have found helps with sticking on all sorts of things is to make sure the pan is hot enough (thanks Samin Nosrat). I heat the pan, and then I add the oil or butter and heat more. This is one of those things that I can’t believe I lived for so long without knowing!

  18. Caitlin says...

    This might sound ridiculous, but I strain my oil into a mason jar and then reuse it throughout the week when I need a tablespoon here or there for cooking dinner each night. Also compost it if you can!

    • jane says...

      The amount of free radicals generated by reusing fried vegetable oil is dangerously risky if you are frying every week. Reconsider. Fresh oil is cheap compared to cancer or arteriosclerosis.

    • Caitlin says...

      Thank you Jane! I am not frying every week and I use olive oil but I will definitely look into that. I appreciate your comment.

  19. Rachel says...

    I’ve had a lot of success with my picky-eaters when I add everything bagel seasoning to the panko. And I think it’s pretty delicious, too :-)

  20. skip the flour and eggs. Coat cutlets in dijon mustard. Dredge in breadcrumbs mixed with smoked paprika. Fry in a little oil. Serve with mayo mixed with lime juice. Yum!

    • Jill says...

      Okay…I’m totally trying this tonight!

  21. Jessica O'Malley says...

    Please do share more about your mom going to law school with kids and a husband at home!!! I’ve been contemplating this myself and I’m always inspired to hear others’ stories….

    • Kate says...

      I have a friend (a lawyer) who is one of five kids (each of them lawyers or doctors) and their mom was a stay-at-home mom until they were teenagers, and then she went to law school! So inspiring and impressive and amazing! Sounds tough, for sure. I’d also like to hear Jenny’s take on it because my friend was actually a little resentful, I guess they went from 100% of their mom’s attention down to like 50% and it was an adjustment. But their dad really picked up the slack – he was working full-time and took over cooking and taking them to their activities while their mom focused on school.

  22. Sally says...

    A silly question maybe, but I wonder…

    After you pan-fry something, what do you do with the oil still left in the pan? How do you dispose of it?!

    • Pam says...

      I keep the plastic containers that the oil comes in. I add to it with used oil as I go through it, and I keep it in my garage. Then, toss when it’s full.

    • dC says...

      I save the oil in a small glass bowl and use it throughout the week to sauté veggies.

    • Amber says...

      You can reuse it but I tend to only do so a couple of times. If the oil has turned dark, toss it. I use ginger to clarify used oil. Put a piece of peeled ginger in the oil and slowly bring to a simmer, then leave simmering for around 5 mins. Strain the oil and reuse. Otherwise, stain through kitchen paper to filter out any breadcrumbs and use again.

  23. Margaux says...

    Thanks for the recipe !
    I just have one question, as a French girl I’m always sruprised to read “rince the chicken”
    Why ???
    We never do so here, even the big Chefs…

    • S says...

      yes, DO NOT RINSE CHICKEN!

    • Anu says...

      Didn’t even notice the rinsing instruction! Definitely don’t rinse chicken – just increases the chance of contamination and completely unnecessary.

  24. Josie says...

    Do you have an air fryer?? It makes things like this 1000 times better!!

    • Harper says...

      I was wondering if anyone has tried this! I JUST got an air fryer and am a little intimidated. Would doing something like this prep work in the air fryer? Would the chicken cook all the way through, would it be juicy? lolol sorry to bombard. I still have a scarcity mindset with food and am always terrified of messing up food and having to toss it.

    • Christine says...

      But everything tastes like plastic!

  25. Dee says...

    We love to eat this as torikatsu, topped with Japanese curry sauce. We just buy a pack of Japanese curry sauce – super easy (just follow packet directions and we like to add carrots and potatoes). Complete and delicious meal in a jiffy.

    • Marcia says...

      same here! Chicken katsu is a house favorite. After frying slice the cutlet on the bias and serve over rice with a drizzle of Kewpie mayo, Bulldog sauce and a sprinkle of furikake. SO good!

  26. DC says...

    When my German mom makes Schnitzel she mixes the leftover flour, bread crumbs and egg together, forms them into patties and fries them in the last of the oil. These “poor man’s schnitzels” were always my favorite.

    • Amber says...

      Great idea! I always feel bad about wasting the leftover dredging materials.

  27. Elizabeth says...

    Yum!

    PS did CoJ remove the shop from the site?? Really enjoyed perusing/supporting brands you love

  28. E says...

    If I ran this country, I’d mandate that each customer purchasing cheap feedlot meat watch a slaughterhouse video. The factory farming industry in the U.S. is breathtaking in its destruction and its cruelty; it destroys our air, our land and our water, not to mention its workers.

    Grocery store chicken and eggs are likely the filthiest, most contaminated foods you can consume. If you choose to eat meat and eggs, it is possible to do so respectfully and humanely. Find a local farmer and buy from someone who lets you see how the animals are raised. Eat less meat but pay more for it – animals shouldn’t ever cost 99 cents a pound. Localharvest.org is a decent place to start, or contact your local Slow Food chapter.

    Whether you’re making the choice for the animals, the workers, the planet or your own health, there is never any justifiable reason to support the American factory farming system. Ever.

    Sincerely, Your Small Local Farmer

    • Eileen says...

      Thank you for your comment. I always appreciate these nudges to look at the impact my food choices (or any consumption, really) make on the whole rather than just how convenient is for me. Be well!

    • Pamela says...

      I appreciate your comment and reminders, E. For the record, tofu that receives a similar treatment – floured and pan-fried – is also delicious and very popular with my family!

    • be greener says...

      AMEN. The normalized denial about the ethical, and financial ‘cost’ of eating meat is horrific. Not to mention the environmental cost, re: beef. Be more conscious, people.

      Vote with your dollar by making BETTER choices. Anything else is just lazy, no matter how “busy” you are. If you can’t afford it then go vegan. It’s super easy and super cheap to make seitan cutlets at home.

  29. Joie says...

    Love chicken cutlets and the Bon Appetit Magic Crispy Chicken is a gamechanger in terms of technique — saute 2 cups panko in oil until brown and crisp, toss chicken (thighs for the win in our family) with mayo + egg + either mustard or miso depending on the flavor profile you are going for, coat the chicken in the panko (which will easily adhere b/c of the mayo mixture) and then bake. I kid you not– perfectly crispy, better than fried, but no actual frying. It is genius.
    https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/magic-crispy-chicken

  30. Jss says...

    I love a chicken cutlet on a beet, goat cheese, arugula salad. With a tasty balsamic dressing. Usually we use grilled chicken, but the cutlet changes it up for us.

  31. martini says...

    Two points:

    1. Is your oil heated up high enough? Make sure the oil is hot enough.

    2. Try marinating breasts for severel hours in buttermilk. For me it’s the only way to keep / or make breasts juicy. That way you can safely cook it long enough to produce a crispy skin without it drying out.

  32. Kenyon says...

    I noticed this says to rinse the chicken first. Isn’t that wrong? I think that was old thinking and you are more likely to spread disease by washing. If you cook chicken to the correct temp, you should be fine, right?

  33. Jess says...

    Thanks for reminding me about the joys of the breaded chicken cutlet. That version with the salad on top is inspiring!

  34. Karen says...

    If you’re a panko fan, I highly recommend gluten-free panko. Kikkoman is the brand I buy. It is far superior in crispiness, and holding its crispiness. I won’t buy the conventional panko anymore.

    Our FAVORITE winter meal with chicken cutlets is Japanese Curry. We’ve hosted many dinner parties with this as the main course, and yes – due to the number of mouths to feed, it means my husband has two pans frying simultaneously (and we keep them warm in the low-temp oven). Man, I haven’t thought about hosting a dinner party in so long, and I cannot wait to do that again…..

    We sautee a ton of veggies, add the curry mix and water (Golden Curry is a fantastic brand) and let that simmer, get the rice going in the rice cooker, and then top with chicken cutlets (using the GF panko).

    It is heaven in a bowl – and a weekend/special meal b/c it’s kind of a lot of work. But SO WORTH IT!

  35. Rina says...

    Same process: flour, eggs, bread crumbs but I usually bake the cutlets with a drizzle of olive oil, 400 degrees for about 15 minutes flipping half way. Our favourite meal is to make it with pasta. Heat up your favourite marinara sauce in a deep pan, toss in cooked fusilli, top with the chicken cutlets, add slices of pepperoni and then top with shredded mozzarella and sauté until the cheese melts. Yummy AND filling.

  36. Dena says...

    Nothing beats the classic cutlet as you described, with arugula and tomato salad on top.

    But for variety, we sometimes coat the chicken with pesto before breadcrumbs, or mix half breadcrumbs half grated parm.

  37. Debby says...

    I know this is cooking 101 here, but whenever I do this, I always use SO. MUCH. OIL. because it inevitably soaks into the chicken and then I just feel like I use a half bottle on my dinner (if not the drip catching paper towel). It doesn’t stop me; I still love cutlets. Do you know what I’m doing wrong?
    I’m here for this schnitzel content, thanks so much.

    • Karen says...

      Are you deep frying the chicken (i.e., using a lot of oil in the pan)? I add about 1/2″ of oil, so once the cutlet is frying only about half of it is submerged. Let that crisp up/cook, then flip. Also, you can re-use the oil; let it cook, strain it, and store in a container in a cool/dark place.

    • starkville says...

      Your oil isn’t hot enough. it should be 375F, or hot enough that when you drop a bread crumb in it sizzles vigorously versus just wandering around the pan. lower temps will not crisp fast and soaks up the oil.

    • Karen says...

      Oops, typo: Let it COOL

    • Kat v says...

      Hi Debby!
      Usually if the oil soaks into a protein, it’s because the oil is not hot enough. Make sure the pan is hot, then add oil, and drop a few breadcrumbs in to ensure they sizzle. Also, highly recommend using a high smoke-point oil in this context, i.e., avocado oil rather than canola oil. Hope that helps!

    • Paula Trone says...

      Heat the pan without the oil. Add the oil and let the oil heat for a bit. Toss in a breadcrumb; it should sizzle. This will tell you the pan is ready for the cutlet. Make sure no to overcrowd the pan. Monitor the heat it should be med-high. If the cutlet is browning too quickly, adjust the heat. If I feel like my pan is too hot, I will push it to a burner that’s off and let the pan cool down before continuing to cook the cutlet. Remember to heat the pan first and turn down the heat. You should find you’ll use less oil.

  38. Laura says...

    Yes, but frying is such a pain, unfortunately. Makes a god-awful mess. Also, olive oil is a terrible idea in this context. Use something with a higher smoke point. Canola is ok, peanut or grape seed oil are ideal. If you really want to make life easier, add a little oil to the breadcrumbs and just bake the cutlets. Not quite as crispy, but beats having to clean up oil splatter.

    • Alyson says...

      Laura, this fry screen is such a life (and clean-up) saver! I outright mocked it when my husband bought it but it has been pressed into service for everything from fried okra to a big batch of bacon:
      U.S. Kitchen Supply 13″ Stainless Steel Fine Mesh Splatter Screen with Resting Feet & Black Comfort Grip Handle https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QR6JCCM/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_i_FY6Y9MCE1T4TJTQ2DE0T

    • Laura says...

      Yes, you can fry an egg in olive oil – it’s done in minutes and the oil won’t start to burn and smoke. But if you plan to cook more than two of these cutlets, hoo boy!

  39. K says...

    i always thought stuff like this would be too hard, but pandemic cooking had me making simple fried chicken for the first time so multistep batter and frying seems a little less intimidating now…

  40. Beth says...

    1. Cook it
    2. Stuff your bra with it
    3. Throw it in your neighbors lawn to solve your raccoon problem
    4. Study decomposition
    5. Hide it in your house and see how long it takes your partner to notice the smell

    • Ashley says...

      You make excellent points, Beth.

    • Alex says...

      I want to quarantine with Beth.

    • Neela says...

      🤣

    • Vittoria says...

      Beth! So funny :) :)

  41. jdp says...

    chicken parm is the special occasion meal of choice in our house! one tip i learned from america’s test kitchen is to kind of let the dredged/battered chicken pieces “dry” on a cooling rack over a baking sheet for a minute before frying. it makes for a crispier, less goopy fry. (maybe? or maybe i just drank the ATK kool-aid.) anyway…simple, delish lifesaver in the kitchen, and thanks for sharing!

  42. Elaine says...

    I use corn starch instead of flour–yields extreme crunchiness!

  43. joy says...

    I also HATE pounding meat. For chicken, I echo others who have said to thinly slice the breasts and then do a little pounding to get to desired thinness–much easier than starting with a whole breast and trying to pound thin enough before the meat disintegrates. For ease of slicing, it’s helpful if you put the meat in the freezer for half an hour or so. I also like doing schnitzel with pork, and here’s where it’s good to have a nice meat shop. There’s one in our neighborhood where I can buy boneless pork chops, and the butcher will pound them for me so all I have to do is dredge and fry. A squeeze of lemon on top is delicious.

    • Cheryl says...

      I second this. Even better, I buy thin chicken breasts when possible. My grocery has a great brand from an Amish farm. Cutlets are ready to go right out of the package.

  44. Lynn says...

    I make these a lot, tho we call it schnitzel at my house. Here are a few things I do differently:

    Season the flour rather than the bread crumbs. I use Jane’s crazy mixed up salt, but whatever you use, I find it’s tastier to get more flavor right up next to the (bland) chicken breasts.

    Add toasted finely chopped nuts to the bread crumbs/panko. Smells and tastes amazing! Almonds or pecans work great.

    Easy to make gluten free by using any gf flour, and making crumbs from toasted nuts and gf bread. Tastes just as good and behaves exactly the same as the gluten version.

  45. Courtney says...

    Just as yummy and also vegetarian is to use eggplant instead of chicken. Eggplant parm made this way was one of the first recipes I ever learned, and I still love it :)

    • Meredith says...

      <3!!

    • Neela says...

      Or oyster mushrooms… 🤤

  46. Cynthia says...

    My husband slices the breasts in half crossway, so you have two thin halves, and then he pounds them, and does the flour, egg, panko bread crumb thing. The last time, he cooked a big batch and froze some. He made mushroom gravy and homemade egg noodles and we called it smothered chicken. Also makes great chicken parmesan or chicken cacciatore. Serve it German style with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut. The possibilities are endless. I can cook, but my husband really enjoys it, so I let him.

    • Jax says...

      Yum! you’re a lucky wife. All those options sound fantastic, esp. the mushroom gravy and egg noodles.

  47. Matilda says...

    I just have to share a cutlet tip courtesy of Mike Solomonov’s Israeli Soul cookbook which has changed my life. If you have time and are inclined to plan a couple hours ahead, marinade the cutlets in the fridge in the beaten eggs and any other herbs/spices you like (even stuff like minced garlic or dijon mustard). Rather than do a flour dredge, just dunk the cutlets straight into a blend of panko + matzo meal (because you probably have a container lying around from last Passover). The crispy coverage is INSANE!

  48. Miche says...

    Thank you for some great alternative ideas for crumbed chicken. We have them with mango chutney as a special meal. It has been a family favourite for thirty years.

  49. Victoria says...

    I do the Deviled Panko thighs from the Keepers cookbook, and not having to pound or pan-fry makes me look forward to cooking them. You elevate them on a rack over a baking sheet so you can just bake them. So good on sandwiches the next day.

  50. Christine says...

    These are making me hungry! Nothing beats a good chicken cutlet. One popular variation with my adolescent kids is to pound the chicken really thin, omit the breadcrumbs and add a few tablespoons of chicken taco seasoning (from a packet of make your own) to the flour. When the chicken is done, we slice it up and add to whatever we have on hand for burrito bowls: rice, diced avocado, shredded cheese, lettuce, canned beans and/or corn, salsa…

  51. Caitlin Scott says...

    HA! About a minute ago I was looking at a pack of chicken cutlets thinking, “What the hell am I gonna do with these tonight?” Thanks, CoJ!

  52. shannon says...

    Jenny, approximately to what thickness do you pound the cutlets?

    Just welcomed our first babe in October … for some reason making quick, crispy, homemade chicken tenders seems like such a clutch mom move to me.

    • Jenny Rosenstrach says...

      Ha! I agree. I would say maybe a half an inch? the important thing is that it’s even thickness throughout which means it will cook more evenly. The danger with chicken breasts is drying out, so you don’t want some parts to be dry and some to be juicy because you had to cook a little longer to accommodate the thick part, you know?
      And congrats on the baby!

  53. For all you gluten-free folks out there, my sister-in-law and I happened to stumble upon the perfect panko replacement: crushed rice Chex! Even though the crumb doesn’t have the exact same texture, it beats every gluten free panko replacement that is marketed as such in the grocery store. It retains its crunch, doesn’t have any added flavor, and fries up beautifully!

    • Donna says...

      Yes, I use Chex for crispy tofu coating all the time. I add garlic powder and nutritional yeast and other spices to it as well.

    • liljmp says...

      Brilliant – thanks!

    • Amanda says...

      OH SHOOT this is a game changer! And definitely less expensive per unit thank the gluten-free panko.

    • DC says...

      Great idea, thanks!

    • Whitney says...

      Another GF cook here! I have had the most success making “breadcrumbs” out of salted rice cakes. They are cheap and easy and they work great for baking or frying. I have the kids crush them by hand if I don’t care about uniformity, or I pulverize in the food processor if I need them finer. You can add herbs or seasonings or just use them plain. Toss with a bit of oil or melted butter and golden crispiness awaits you!

    • Em says...

      oooh hot tip!

    • Vittoria says...

      Thanks for all of these excellent suggestions! I am always avoiding trying recipes like this because I do not have a GF alternative. These are great ideas!

  54. Alison Briggs says...

    ha we had breaded chicken last night! a staple in our house for sure!!

  55. Ruth says...

    I grew up eating Shake and Bake chicken (ugh, I cringe now thinking of the salt bombs that were those chicken breasts) and now we make our own delightful breaded cutlets using a recipe by Adeena Sussman (from her book) which includes a few spices too, plus sesame seeds. Schnitzel (as it’s often called) is the best! We do it once a week!

  56. Nina says...

    Great ideas that look delicious! Thanks Jenny.

  57. This is a staple at my house as well……we sometimes switch it up:

    1. Add bbq sauce, bacon crumbles, and melt cheddar cheese on top – Cowboy Chicken!

    2. Add honey mustard, a slice of deli ham, and melt swiss cheese on top – Chicken Cordon Bleu!

    Always yummy.

    • Emily says...

      My husband LOVES adding BBQ to chicken breast and I HATE it! haha I think it’s the way he would cook it that seemed super dried out to me.

    • Ispykatsu says...

      As soon as I saw the photo I started craving my grandma’s chicken katsu. You’ve probably had it but you eat the katsu with a tonkatsu sauce (I had a 30 minute conversation with my husband and some friends the other day about how the tonkatsu sauce makes or breaks the katsu; we all completely agreed so I’m not sure why the conversation went on for half an hour) and salad (usually romaine lettuce with some shredded carrots and tomatoes) with miso dressing. You can try to find recipes online for Hawaiian Chicken Katsu (or maybe just chicken katsu?) and miso dressing if you don’t already have one. For the tonkatsu sauce you’ll have to submit an offering to the tonkatsu gods then wait and see. Many have tried, few have been successful.

  58. Amanda says...

    Mash avocado in a soft bun, slice cutlet on top, add mayo, salt, pepper, and tomatoes or other veggies if so desired.

  59. awads says...

    i wish i didn’t hate pounding chicken as much as i do! tenders might be the way to go?

    • mimi says...

      I put mine in plastic sandwich bags & use a large spoon to pound and get the thickness even all over for safe frying— still need to touch the raw chicken to get it out of the bag.
      It the thickness that needs to be even throughout the chicken so it cooks evenly and isn’t raw in any large part while the the thin ends are dried out.

    • Adrienne says...

      I just buy thin-sliced breasts or cut the regular ones in half horizontally. No pounding required!

  60. Emily says...

    The other day my four year old asked me what “basic” meant, and after my definition they asked me if basic was not as good as something else. I quickly said an emphatic no and that I, in fact, prefer basic sometimes. This is the perfect example. In my opinion, basic done well is the best of all.

    • andrea says...

      “Basic done well”, is Classic. Basic is by definition not done well, it’s just basic. Semantics = clarity.

  61. Ellen says...

    Jenny, do you have any recommendations for dredging without eggs? Our son is allergic (fingers crossed he grows out of it).

    • H says...

      Hi you can mix equal parts prepared yellow mustard, all purpose flour, and water and use that as an egg substitute for the first phase of dredging. It’s sticky enough to hold on the breadcrumbs.

    • Jennifer says...

      Jenny may have a better answer, but milk is my second choice.

    • Emma says...

      I’m not Jenny, but when we’ve been caught out with no eggs, I’ve used either greek yoghurt or sour cream before and both have been yummy!

    • Amy says...

      I use buttermilk. I always have a container of it in the fridge. (It lasts waaay past the printed expiration date. )
      It adds a really nice flavor!

    • ang says...

      I sometimes use buttermilk with a few dashes of hot sauce instead of eggs.

    • Susan Davies says...

      any tasty salad dressing from a bottle – Cole slaw, ranch, Greek, Italian, tzatziki – the sky’s the limit, just watch out for egg or gluten if that’s an issue

    • Jenny Rosenstrach says...

      I agree with all of the ideas below, especially sour cream and yogurt.

    • Hannah says...

      Ours is 5.5 and slowly growing out of it! I commented a ways below, but we use vegan mayo (just the regular old Hellman’s brand, but they have a vegan version). You can brush it on. I find that it sticks well to the chicken and the breadcrumbs.

    • Ellen says...

      Thank you all so much! As usual, the CoJ community comes through.

  62. Candice says...

    I am on the same wavelength! Lately, I’ve been playing around with the breading – adding sesame seeds or crushed cornflakes – so tasty!
    There is something so perfect and comforting about a diagonally sliced chicken cutlet.

  63. CC says...

    This reminds me of my childhood, and it is the perfect substitution to help my own young kids transition away from chicken nuggets. Thanks!

  64. Lydia says...

    Great article in the NY Times earlier this month about how chickens are raised (cruelly and inhumanely) for consumption: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/06/opinion/sunday/costco-chicken-animal-welfare.html?smid=url-share
    For non plant based recipes, I think it is important to talk about how to ethically shop for the animal products used.
    As we can see with the Arctic weather pattern happening in the majority of the country, climate change is upon us and escalating.
    Choosing a mostly plant based diet is a relatively painless way to make a positive impact.
    Maybe Cup of Jo could publish an article on bean recipes? For instance Rancho Gordo beans are making beans glamorous. Beans are delicious and an excellent, nutritional, cost effective substitute for meat and actually contribute to keeping soil healthy (so a really great way to sustainably farm and help reduce food insecurity). Beans don’t need refrigeration and can be used year round.
    There are so many creative ways to maintain a delicious plant based diet.
    Why are we talking about chicken as the star of any meal?

    • Kat says...

      Echoing this comment x 100. Can we please, as a society, move away from eating animals? Would love to see more plant based recipes featured on this blog! Thanks to Lydia for raising this important issue and thanks to Jenny and COJ team for listening :)

    • Kamina says...

      Thanks for this comment Lydia. I agree with all. The glamorizing of animal products feels really off to me.

    • Emily says...

      This is a really important point! While I am no longer entirely plant based in my diet, I make it a point to get my meat from local farmers that I either personally know or know by reputation raise their animals ethically and humanely.

      I second that I would love to see some more plant based recipes as well! I could definitely use some more bean ideas (please not white bean soup though…just not a fan).

    • Beth Chu says...

      I agree!!! What is so funny about this is that Jenny, the author, has been talking about how important it is to eat mostly plant based for the earth for a long while! So while this happens to be a chicken recipe, her plant based recipes are amazing!!!

    • Rose says...

      “ Why are we talking about chicken as the star of any meal?”

      Because 92% of the world population eats meat, and then environment is one out of hundreds of facets around food. Culture, shared history, the act of eating a familiar meal together: these things matter. They don’t matter *less* than other things. It’ a wonderful that veganism is your crusade, but it’s not everyone’s and that’s just fine.

    • kelsea says...

      I’m so glad people like you exist. <3

    • Laurie says...

      Thank you Lydia. I ‘m so glad you spoke up about this. I agree wholeheartedly and hope to see more plant-based recipes here on CoJ.

    • Monica says...

      Thank youuu! So much.

      Whole food, plant predominant recipes might offer those interested a guide to more mindful and healthful eating. I can’t think of a better time to start making small changes than a global health crisis!

    • ANETA says...

      100x YES!!! There have been so many great posts and discussions about doing better as humans (in the context of politics, social change etc), but not much when it comes to the issue of climate change.

    • Kate says...

      THANK YOU LYDIA! I think you put this tactfully. I love CoJ and have always been surprised at the, uh, non-veganness of pretty much all the recipes here. Seems incongruous with the compassionate, woke tone of this site.

    • Stella says...

      1) meat is an important part of many cultures, policing that feels wrong
      2) eating less meat is great, but the climate is still going to sh*t either way because of the actions of corporations and the ultrarich (not us)
      3) many people *cannot* digest beans (I don’t just mean farts), so they are not the best meat substitute for everyone

    • beecher says...

      @ROSE

      “92% of the world population eats meat” because it is easy to exploit animals. If you’ve ever raised farm animals of your own you quickly realize that they have lives that matter. They know and trust us. To raise them commercially is so unethical that it generates mass denial because the alternative is taking responsibility for your own food – which people are too lazy to do.

      As a vegan I actually think it is ok for those who feel like they ‘need’ it to eat meat HOWEVER: I %100 percent think they should source that animal themselves and either raise and kill it humanely, with prayers of gratitude and recognition that this animal is DYING so you can have a cutlet – OR know the farmer who does this ethically and support them by buying directly. That is healthier in every way.

    • Rose says...

      Beecher, I lived in a working farm for fifteen years. I*have* raised farm animals. That doesn’t change my mind though. What you propose is simply not feasible for everyone, or most, or even a significant minority of people. I’m not arguing against you or other people doing it! Simply pointing out that other people have other priorities and that’s okay.

    • beecher says...

      @rose Everyone here reading this is capable of alternatives – including going vegetarian or eating meat once a month. Entire civilizations have thrived on a largely vegetarian diet for eons. Our greedy denial is generating incredible denial of cruelty and destroying the economy and the environment.

      You are clearly capable of being on the other side of that %92 – so what is stopping you? Greed for meat and denial of it’s cost.

  65. Hannah says...

    My son is allergic to eggs and loves McNuggets, and I was desperate for a homemade version. Thanks to an idea from a CoJ commenter many moons ago, I started brushing my chicken pieces with vegan mayo then panko, and it’s amazing! I make some pieces like this for the little guy and serve it with ketchup and then I add some spices to the mayo for the grown-ups and it becomes salad topping, rice topping, or just grown-up chicken fingers. Usually, we’ll do taco or curry spices and a yogurt or sour cream based dip.

  66. Steph says...

    We do this at least once a month but bake them on a sheet pan for 30 mins. It’s healthier, if that’s what you’re into, but mostly I’m too lazy/busy with little kids to stand their monitoring their progress in the skillet. Yum!

  67. Sara says...

    Adding some “everything bagel” seasoning to the breadcrumbs is also delicious. Thanks, Jenny!

    • Jenny Rosenstrach says...

      ooooo that’s a really good one

  68. Julie says...

    Chicken cutlets are such a staple in my house. I love them with a salad of arugula, thinly sliced fennel, and shaved Parmesan with a lemony vinaigrette. I’ve also used the trick of whisking Dijon mustard into the eggs for an extra kick.

    • Amy says...

      I am going to try all of the above, Julie! Yum!

    • Julie says...

      I think it’s a Smitten Kitchen meal, if you need a direct recipe!

  69. CN says...

    We love pork and chicken cutlets. I use this recipe to make it in the oven and it comes out perfect each time.

    https://www.justonecookbook.com/tonkatsu/

    Key tip: toast the panko crumbs before dredging. This allows you to bake the meat and still have that crispy breading we all love

  70. AmandaGY says...

    Yum! A favourite thing to make at our house too. We love them on soft kasiers or white Wonderbread with katsu sauce and coleslaw on the side! Thanks for sharing some new ideas to try Jenny! I’m keen to make the chicken parm this week! ;)

  71. riye says...

    They’re also great on top of a bowl of Japanese style curry and rice. with pickled ginger on the side. :-)

  72. Christine says...

    + tonkatsu sauce, salad w/ carrot ginger sesame dressing, japanese potato salad

    • Jenny Rosenstrach says...

      do you have a recipe link for that by any chance? sounds amazing!

    • Christine says...

      Hi Jenny!

      -for the salad dressing, i stick blend carrots, a big spoon of tahini, a couple spoons of rice vinegar, sugar, salt, and small knob of ginger. pour over any salad mix and/or veggies on hand.
      -for the japanese potato salad, i boil potatoes in salted water. when potatoes are cool, i partially mash with diced up onion, carrots, cucumber, ham, corn, and peas. i add a tiny bit of japanese mayo and a teensy bit of oriental hot mustard powder. salt and pepper to taste.

      haha- sorry, all the measurements are a bit of this and a bit of that. i’m not good at precise quantities.

    • Christine says...

      …i buy the bottled tonkatsu sauce from korean or japanese markets!
      it’s really good.

  73. Thoams says...

    every single one of these sounds delicious. thanks as always, Jenny!!!

  74. My mom used to make them with mashed potatoes and a can of stewed tomatoes, and I still love the combo.

  75. gillian says...

    Schnitzel!

  76. Maryann Moore says...

    Any idea if I can do this with thighs (what i happen to have in my fridge?) just bang the bejesus out of them to get them flat? I was *just* wondering was I was going to make tonight.

    • Samantha says...

      I have! And thighs are better anyway, you don’t have to worry so much about them drying out.

  77. Jill says...

    P.S. I almost always use chicken tenders and pinko. They fry up so quickly!

  78. Mallory says...

    I love a crispy chicken cutlet in a warm, comforting bowl of ramen!

  79. Jill says...

    Jenny this is truly the best! It might be considered plain by some but these are so versatile. Make it using Italian, Cajun, Indian spices and you have so much variety. Thanks for your pairing ideas!