There’s nothing like simplicity in a time like this. Staple ingredients, basic recipes, and home cooking somehow taste so much better and flavorful than complicated and obscure meals sometimes. I can get a little too over-complicated sometimes when it comes to cook, and ESPECIALLY baking, so I am always working to reflect on what I’m doing: how many swaps did I implement this time? What was the measurement of this ingredient? How long should I bake or sear it for? How do I remedy too much salt? Too liquidy? These are some of the questions I am always asking myself when in the kitchen, but with classic recipes like chicken cutlets, the measurements and taste somehow always come out perfect.
I’m not diagnosed with celiac or gluten intolerance, but I just feel better when I don’t eat a whole ton of bread or gluten. Sure, I can take down a massive french toast, or a large hero sandwich from a deli, but 9 times out of 10 I feel like garbage afterwards, largely because of the bread. That’s not to say I don’t indulge, but I am mindful, and that’s why a lot of my cooking and baking is directed toward gluten-free. However, I will N E V E R say no or turn down a good chicken cutlet. Who doesn’t love a tender, juicy, crispy on the outside piece of delectable chicken?
If you’re a novice cook in your kitchen, this is THE recipe for you. It’s incredibly simple, with standard ingredients, and once you’ve mastered the chicken cutlet, you can ramp it up with chicken parm, chicken cutlet wraps, chicken cutlet salads, and even chicken pasta bakes! Let’s get started…
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and filleted
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups breadcrumbs
- 4-5 tbsp olive oil, and probably more to coat the pan
- Cast iron skillet or deep frying pan
- 3 dinner plates
- one for the breadcrumbs
- one for the breaded chicken
- one for post fried chicken to sit on paper towel
To start, get your “assembly line” together, meaning: arrange your plates and bowl for the egg-wash. You’ll have a plate (or I use a cutting board) of the filleted chicken breasts, bowl of egg wash (Just cracked and whisked eggs), plate of breadcrumbs, and extra plate to put the breaded chicken before you fry it.
- First, rinse and pat dry your chicken breasts. Lay flat on a cutting board and fillet them: you’ll place a hand on the chicken breast, take a slicing knife, and cut the chicken breast horizontally in half from one side to the other, this will make one chicken breast into two thin sliced breasts. Repeat for all pieces (if you have four large breasts, you’ll end up with eight!). Then, season with salt and pepper.
- Crack your eggs. Whisk them together and leave as is.
- Take your cast iron skillet or your deep frying pan and place onto the stove. Pour enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, and add another two tbsp. You want enough oil in the pan so that there’s minimal splatter, and so the oil crackles/fries the chicken enough without sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Begin to make the cutlets. Take a piece of chicken, dip into the egg, then into the breadcrumbs, coating both sides evenly. Place on plate and repeat until all chicken is breaded.
- Heat your skillet/pan on medium heat. You may need to play around with the heat so that the cutlets do not burn. Layer two or three pieces of chicken into the pan and let them fry for 3-4 minutes per side. Overcooking the chicken will burn the breading and will also dry out the chicken – our goal here is a golden crust with a juicy bite!
- Place the fried chicken cutlets on a plate with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Repeat this step until all the chicken is cooked.
I swear by this method, and it is pretty standard from what I understand, but I wanted to add this recipe here for anyone who is venturing into the cooking world, for anyone who has attempted cutlets but forgot how much oil or how to fillet a chicken. This recipe will become your backbone of cooking and will virtually take you anywhere when it comes to being in the kitchen. Have fun, stay safe, and happy frying!