Crispy Cutlets For A Crowd
Standing around a hot, oily stove is never fun, especially not when there are other people in your home. Who wants to be dripping sweat while friends are sipping on a refreshing glass of wine? Hence, traditional chicken cutlets that are breaded and fried aren't good for entertaining. They get soggy if they sit for too long, the breading falls off, you know the sad aftermath. Oh! But they're so good when done right. All crispy, and crunchy and oregano-y. I tried so many times to remake them in the oven the original way. Dip into egg, cover in breadcrumbs, bake. It never worked. Finally, a few months ago, I found out what the golden ticket was.
The two tricks I discovered for delicious baked cutlets are Japanese breadcrumbs called panko, and olive oil spray. Yup, that's all it takes. The panko is crunchy before baking, and the oil spray allows us to get an even glossy coating on the chicken that will brown perfectly. These cutlets are fantastic when entertaining because they prevent a mess, aren't greasy and come together very quickly. You can even make them ahead of time, freeze, and just broil to on low when your guests are over. Not to mention they taste good at room temperature- I'm eating shoot leftovers now :)
You can make strips and serve them as tenders, but my favorite way to present these is with whole romaine hearts well-dressed. I coat the leaves in dressing for a more upscale play on Caesar salad. Another idea is to top each cutlet with a spoon of marinara and a slice of mozzarella. Pop them under the broiler when you're ready for dinner and serve atop the carb of your choosing.
Crispy Baked Chicken Cutlets
1lb of chicken breasts, thinly sliced (I use Farmer Focus from Fresh Direct, a very cool initiative you can read more about here)
2 cups of Italian seasoned panko (I use Pereg brand)
1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese
olive oil in a spray bottle (I use Trader Joe's)
salt + pepper
Preheat the oven to 450° and prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Spray the parchment with olive oil liberally. Clear off a counter or your kitchen table to make room for an assembly line of sorts. Pat chicken breasts dry with paper towels, and season both sides with salt + pepper. Crack eggs into a bowl, and beat them until they're all yellow. Carefully place panko and parmesan into a large plate or pan with sides to avoid overflow. Mix gently to ensure an even distribution of cheese to crumbs.
Dip your chicken into the egg, then lay it into the panko. You can use tongs for this part if raw meat grosses you out. Cover both sides of the chicken in panko, and lay it on the baking sheet. Keep going until you fill up the baking sheet, then spray all of the chicken with olive oil liberally. Place in the oven and bake for about 8 minutes before turning over. Bake for another 5-10 minutes until the cutlets are crispy and cooked through.
What are your favorite ways to eat chicken cutlets? Do you have ideas for how to serve them nicely? Share below!