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Friday, August 8, 2014

Panko Chicken Breast Cutlets

Some recipes have been passed down through generations and followed religiously without question. Last week I made a small change in one of the recipes I watched my mother make and I’ve made in the same way for the last forty years.  Not a huge change but a huge difference!  It was just a matter of adding one ingredient before another but the result left me shaking my head wondering why it had taken so long to make the change.

This chicken breast recipe is another one I watched my mother make over and over again.  At some point the discovery of the wonderful texture of Japanese Panko bread crumbs made way for the first change in the preparation of these cutlets  This resulted in a more crispy, light bread crumb coating than the traditional Italian variety.

A few years later the Cream Puff Girl who by the way does not live by Cream Puffs alone shared some information with me which made way for another change. Instead of dredging in flour before dipping into the egg mixture the chicken breasts spend a few hours tenderizing in the egg then coated with the Panko before frying.

One less step and very tender, juicy chicken… so worth the changes!

Panko Chicken Breast Cutlets
I usually don’t measure the ingredients for this recipe but just eyeball the quantities of egg and breading mix needed.  Below are listed approximate measurements for three chicken breasts sliced in half to make six portions.

3 chicken breasts each breast sliced in half to make 6 cutlets
2 eggs
about ¼ cup grated cheese
about 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh Italian parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Bread Crumb Coating
about 2 cups panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated cheese
about 1 tablespoon dry oregano
salt and pepper to taste
corn oil to fry cutlets
  1. Beat together eggs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper until well mixed.
  2. Place chicken breast portions into the mixture and allow to marinate for at least a couple of hours in the refrigerator. (These can be prepared earlier in the day and be ready to bread later.)
  3. In a shallow container or on a piece of wax paper mix the bread crumbs, cheese, oregano, salt and pepper well.
  4. Place chicken breast in the crumb mixture then turn over and coat the other side lightly pressing the bread crumbs with hand making sure they adhere to the chicken.
  5. Cutlets can be fried immediately or placed in the refrigerator until ready to fry.
  6. Fry each side on medium high heat until golden and cooked through.  Time will depend on the thickness of the chicken breast.
  7. Drain excess oil by placing cutlets on paper towel.
  8. Serve with lemon wedge.


Notes, Tips and Suggestions
  • Instead of frying, add a little oil into a rimmed baking sheet and place in a 375 degree F. oven until oil is heated then carefully place prepared cutlets in the pan.  Brown on both sides turning once. Heating oil prevents excess oil absorption.
  • If possible, after coating with bread crumbs allow to rest in the refrigerator for a while, this seals the bread crumbs on the chicken.
  • These cutlets are delicious served hot, warm and even cold. They also make great sandwiches!

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