The Secret to Juicy Fried Chicken Cutlets is in the Pan
In my last post, I talked about how to restore and season a cast iron skillet like a pro. I mentioned that in order to build a nice non-stick coating (or patina) on your pan, the first few times you use it, you should make something with a high fat content. My first dish cooked in my freshly seasoned pan was a real splurge. I normally don’t fry food at home, but this dish was worth it- for the taste and for the benefit to my skillet. A cast iron pan is the only way I will ever cook fried food again. It helps the oil to maintain a constant temperature, which is key for creating a juicy inside and golden, crispy outside.
The Secret to Flavorful Cutlets is in the Breading
Fried chicken is a great weekend meal when you have a little time to spare and it goes great with practically any side dish you want to throw at it. If you make a huge batch, you can have leftovers for weekday salad topping or to use in chicken parmesan. For my recipe, I used thin cut chicken breast meat. The most important factor here is uniformity in thickness so that it all cooks through at the same time. If you have a very thick side to your cutlet, hold your knife horizontal to the cutting board and cut the thick part off the cutlet and fry that separately.
Seasoning your breading adequately is where all the flavor comes in. I recommend seasoning the first coating of flour with salt and pepper, then dipping the cutlets in egg. The final coating is a mixture of Italian seasoned panko style bread crumbs and grated parmesan cheese. Use the right pan and the right coating, and you are on your way to a mouth-watering, crunchy, juicy fried chicken cutlets that are packed with flavor.
Juicy Fried Chicken Cutlet with Parmesan Crust
The most flavorful, juicy fried chicken cutlet you will ever make. With Parmesan and panko breading, this versatile chicken dish goes with just about any side dish!
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets sliced fairly thinly
- vegetable oil such as canola for frying
- 1 cup flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup Italian seasoned panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
Prepare the chicken breasts by making sure that they are evenly sliced. Trim if necessary.
Heat about 1 inch of vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet. Have a baking sheet ready with a wire rack above to drain the cooked cutlets.
Meanwhile, prepare 3 wide bowls. Pour 1 cup of flour into a bowl and season with about 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. In the second bowl, beat the eggs. In the third bowl, pour in the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese and stir to combine.
Check if the oil is ready by dripping a small amount of egg into the pan. If it bubbles up to the surface right away, it is ready. Coat the cutlets first in flour, then egg, then the breadcrumb mixture. Carefully place the cutlets in the oil one at a time.
Cook the cutlets for 5-7 minutes on each side (depending on thickness), until golden brown. Remove the chicken to the wire rack and allow to drain. Serve piping hot alongside your favorite side dish or slice and serve atop a salad.
Deep frying in a cast iron skillet helps to maintain an even oil temperature and also helps the patina on your pan to develop nicely.
My recipe for breading and frying would also work great for white fish such as flounder or catfish. I just know you will love it. Does your family have a favorite recipe for fried chicken? I would love to hear about it! Leave me a comment below!