Start by rinsing your chicken and trimming off the fat. Slicing the chicken is fairly important- If they are too thick, they won’t cook correctly. I cannot stress enough the importance of a very sharp knife to cut your chicken. Take the breast and, with the entire palm of your hand, put pressure on the thickest part.
Start slicing on this end, slowly, and be careful NOT to cut your hand. If your knife is sharp enough and the breast is thick enough, you can even cut it into 3 thinner pieces. Once your chicken is all sliced…
You can prepare the breading workstation. I like to use 3 loaf pans because they are the perfect size and depth.
Pour the flour in the first pan/dish and mix in salt and pepper.
Crack 3 eggs into the second pan/dish. Mix in the milk and grated cheese. If your eggs are still thick, you can add some more milk or some water.
Pour the breadcrumbs in the third pan/dish. Add some crushed red pepper (it adds a great kick!).
At this point, you can pour the oil in your pan (about 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep) or prepare your deep fryer and start heating the oil up. However, if you are making a lot of cutlets, you may want to wait so the oil is not too hot/does not burn.
Now, simply take the chicken, coat it evenly in flour on both sides…
Dip it into the egg, coating it evenly…(I like to use my fingers, but a using a fork is less messy)
Then finally coat it in breadcrumbs. If breadcrumbs don’t stick to a part, simply dunk that part back in the egg and then back into the breadcrumbs.
Coat all of your cutlets. If you have extra egg and breadcrumbs, you can go back through and double bread some.
Here’s what they look like all breaded:
Now, if you haven’t prepared the oil- go ahead and do this now. While it is heating up, you can clean up this huge mess! 🙂
Also, if you have trouble with your breadcrumbs falling off the cutlets, you can refrigerate them for 10-20 minutes. This will help the breadcrumbs from falling off in the oil.
Now, I like to make some tiny nugget-like cutlets out of the small-barely-hanging-on parts of the chicken breast. Bread them like the others, and then you can test the heat of the oil by placing them in gently, don’t splash the oil! When they start bubbling and turning golden brown, the oil is at a good temperature. If you have a thermometer, the oil should be at about 350°F.
It should be around medium to medium-high on the stove top. Place no more than 3 cutlets in at a time, remember, the more cutlets in the oil, the lower the oil temperature. Also, don’t let them overlap. I usually flip them once or twice. It takes about 3-5 minutes in the oil, or until they are a rich golden brown. Let the oil rest for a minute in between rounds of frying to let it heat back up to the right temperature.
Remember, the cook always gets to test out the first cutlet. 🙂
Make sure you use plenty of paper towels to soak up the extra oil. I like to pat each round of cutlets as they come out of the oil, then with a layer of paper towels on the bottom, stack them in a baking dish. Put them in the oven on bake at about 200°F. This just soaks up the rest of the oil, keeps them warm, and makes sure any thick parts are thoroughly cooked.
There are so many different things you can do with a good chicken cutlet:
- Chicken Parmesan
- Chicken Cutlet Sandwiches (Check out the Number 9)
- Chicken Cutlet Caesar Salad
- Buffalo Chicken Salad
- Buffalo Chicken Wraps
- Etc Etc Etc
Anyway, hope you enjoy!