Saturday, March 20, 2010

Chicken cutlets

Mm. Chicken.
You know how you get breaded chicken sometimes? Like chicken nuggets, or Chicken Parmesan, or on a Wenzel? (shout out, yeah!)
You can make these at home! I will tell you how.

First thing: Chicken. Thin chicken breasts, fresh or well defrosted. Pound them (gently) with a food mallet (or roll them thinner with a rolling pin or a bottle of wine or... be creative). The thinner they are the faster they cook and the less you will burn your gorgeous breading. Lightly salt and pepper your chicken.

Second thing: breading!
I like to use a 4-part method. Some people might tell you that simply dredging the chicken in flour or breadcrumbs is enough. This is a lie. A dirty, evil, vile lie.
So, in comes my tested 4 part method. Get out four bowls, shallow if you can. Or plates work well if they've got a decent rim. Fill them with:
  1. Milk. The layer of milk can be shallow, you just want to coat the chicken quickly.
  2. Flour
  3. Egg, beaten. If you're doing a few, one egg might be enough. 4 large chicken breasts should take about 2 eggs, and more accordingly. 
  4. Breadcrumbs. If you've got old bread, you can use it, but make sure it is very very fine. I use a can of store bought crumbs... it seems silly, but they give a great fine texture to your breading.
 So, in the order above, coat each chicken breast. Your fingers are going to become full of *stuff*, I promise. You may even have to rinse your hands occasionally to keep from having your fingers pick the breading off the chicken. But when you're done, you will have goodness. I promise.

Once everything is breaded, throw away everything that isn't the chicken. Don't try to cook with any of the stuff you just dragged raw meat through, please.

Then heat up a frying pan with some olive oil and some butter. This is the tricky part, because if it's too hot, you will cook the crust up fast, then it will burn as you wait for the meat to cook. If it's too cool, then the breading will soak up all the oil and get sort of soggy. Anyway, depending on the temperament of your stove, you probably want something between medium and all-the-way-up. Cook each one for a minute or two on each side, depending on the thickness of the chicken. Add more oil if you need it.

Pull them out when they're done-- golden on the outside, nice and white on the inside. Serve with any number of amazing sauces or sides. Yummmmm.

Pro tip: if you don't lose much breading in the making, you can deglaze the pan and make a nice sauce, like the chicken piccata I made tonight.


  1. "Don't try to cook with any of the stuff you just dragged raw meat through, please."

    you are hilarious. Although I really must encourage you to up the ante on this blog and use more photos. photos! yes!

    I will have you know that I have for the first time added a can of coconut milk and a can of green curry paste to a lovely stirfry (potatoes, carrots, baby corn, and broccoli) and my kitchen smells like a freaking Thai Restaurant! time to eat it... now!

  2. Hey, you never know! :-)
    And yummmm!!