This chicken cutlet recipe features thin slices of perfectly breaded chicken in an Italian seasoning blend that cooks up in minutes!
How do you elevate a humble chicken breast into something spectacular? This chicken cutlets recipe is your answer.
This Italian-American staple is a constant on our weekly dinner rotation. It cooks in minutes, and they are seriously addictive. It’s a spin on our turkey cutlets, but personally, I like these so much better!
Table of Contents
Why this recipe works
This chicken may look complicated or time-consuming but it’s one of the quickest ways to cook breaded chicken.
- It’s fast. With this recipe, you can put dinner together in less than 20 minutes without compromising on flavor.
- Perfect texture and flavor. The texture of the cutlets is super crispy and crunchy on the outside, yet have the most juicy and moist meat in the middle. The breading has hints of Italian flavors without being overpowering.
- It’s hard to mess up. Even if you’re a novice at putting dinner together, you can make this recipe perfectly with just a bit of practice.
Breaded chicken cutlets are so easy, and besides the chicken, egg, and some seasonings, there isn’t anything else needed to make. Here is what you’ll need:
- Chicken cutlets OR skinless chicken breasts, each sliced in half. Make sure each cutlet is not too thick so it cooks quickly.
If you love fattier cuts of chicken, you can replace the chicken breast with boneless chicken thighs or legs. Chicken tenders can also be used.
- Flour. To dredge the chicken in. The flour helps with browning but also keeps the inside of the chicken extra juicy.
- Eggs. These are used for the crispy coating. They also add moisture, which helps the panko sticks to the meat.
- Dijon mustard. You’ll mix this with the eggs during the coating step. It adds a lovely punch of flavor.
- Panko breadcrumbs. This finishes the coating and gives the cutlets a crispy texture. Like the flour, not all of it will be used up.
- Salt and pepper. To taste.
- Italian seasoning. The secret ingredient that gives the breading that extra delicious flavor.
- Oil. To deep fry. Any oil with a high smoke point is great, like avocado or vegetable oil.
- Fresh lemon slices and/or chopped parsley (optional).
How to cook chicken cutlets
Fried chicken cutlets are easy to make: just remember to pound the chicken into an even thickness.
Pound the chicken: Pound your cutlets until they’re about ½-inches thick.
Prepare the crispy coating: Put the flour, the eggs and mustard, and the panko in three separate bowls.
Season and coat: Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then dredge each piece in the flour mixture, followed by the egg mix, then the panko. Repeat the process until each cutlet is coated.
Cook the chicken: Add oil to a skillet and fry the cutlets for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until they are crispy golden brown. Let the chicken cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining cutlets.
Tips to make the best recipe
Rest the chicken before frying. Once you’ve breaded the cutlets, let them sit for 20 minutes. This helps the breading stick to the chicken even more.
Don’t crowd the pan. If needed, cook the chicken in batches so they cook evenly and completely. Crowding the pan will reduce the heat of the oil and the chicken will take loner to cook.
Drain on a wire rack. I prefer letting the freshly fried cutlets drain on a wire rack over a paper towel because the chicken remains extra crispy and not soggy.
Add breadcrumbs. For an even more flavorful coating, swap out half the panko for Italian breadcrumbs.
To store: Wrap the cutlets tightly in plastic wrap, then put them in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
To freeze: Place the cooled cutlets in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Reheating: Reheat your cutlets in an oven turned to 350°F for between five and seven minutes.
Meal prep ideas
Chicken cutlets make a fabulous meal prep option because they can be enjoyed hot or cold and are great to use to make chicken cutlet sandwiches, tossed through a salad, or made into a hoagie.
More breaded chicken recipes
Frequently asked questions
Avocado oil is a great choice for frying chicken cutlets since it is a little healthier than other oil types and has a high smoke point.
To cut down on the added oil and calories, bake the chicken cutlets instead. Once they’ve been breaded, add them to a preheated oven and bake at 200C/400F for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Pressing down on the panko once the cutlets are dredged in it is a surefire way to ensure the breading sticks to it. Another option is to let the chicken sit for 20 minutes before frying.
If the oil is not hot enough, it soaks into the chicken and will yield greasy cutlets. To prevent this, make sure the oil looks shimmery and light, or check its temperature. The perfect temperature of oil for frying should be between 325-375F.
Crispy Chicken Cutlets
- Pound the chicken until 1⁄2-inch in thickness.
- Add the flour to a bowl, eggs and mustard in a second bowl, and the panko and Italian seasoning in a third bowl.
- Pat dry the chicken then season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, followed by the eggs then the panko mix.
- Add 2 inches of oil to a large pot or skillet. Once hot, add the chicken cutlets and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side or until crispy golden brown. Repeat the process until all the chicken is cooked.
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