These Italian Chicken Cutlets are coated with Italian breadcrumbs flavored with Parmesan cheese. Delicious on it’s own, in a sandwich, or topped with sauce!
Growing up, my Aunt Julia would fry these delicious Italian Chicken Cutlets for dinner. These Italian Chicken Cutlets were served with tomato salad, pasta, fried potatoes, risotto, or used to make a delicious chicken Parmesan. She would make such a big batch of these Italian Chicken Cutlets so leftovers could be used for sandwiches. Those sandwiches were incredible.
Picture this: a sandwich made with homemade Italian bread, spread with mayo, topped with fresh romaine lettuce, a tomato fresh from her garden, and a golden brown Italian Chicken Cutlet. Mama mia!
The secret to making these delicious crispy cutlets is to add Parmesan cheese to your seasoned breadcrumbs. Of course, my Aunt Julia makes her own seasoned breadcrumbs. That will be in a future post. When she last visited me she brought over a humongous tub of homemade Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. And of course, the breadcrumbs are made from her homemade Italian bread. For those who prefer not to go through all this trouble – although worth it – ready made seasoned breadcrumbs can be used.
As for the cutlets, I have gone through the process of covering with plastic or wax paper and pounding them thin. I have done this a few times in the past and it always ended up in a mess. Torn paper or plastic all over the place. Maybe I pounded too hard? Maybe I need anger management classes? I don’t know. All I know is that I found a much easier method to get a thin chicken cutlet. One way, buy thin chicken cutlets! The other way is slicing the cutlet horizontally to make 2 thin cutlets.
If you are comfortable with your knife skills, lay the cutlet on your cutting board and place your palm flat on top of the breast. With a sharp knife, and the thicker part of the breast facing the knife, find the middle and carefully slice horizontally all the way through the cutlet.
Alternatively, if you prefer to pound them then pound them gently between two pieces of wax or parchment paper until 1/4 inch thick starting from the center out. You can use a flat rounded meat pounder, a rolling pin, or a small skillet. Just be gentle. Don’t do it if you are aggravated or you will end up with shredded meat!
The process for making these chicken cutlets may be familiar to you already. In one shallow dish, eggs are whisked and seasoned. In another shallow dish, add the seasoned breadcrumbs. Dip the cutlets in the eggs and let excess drip. Then coat with the breadcrumbs patting the crumbs ensuring they stick to the cutlet.
Place on a clean baking sheet until all the cutlets are breaded.
Add to a hot skillet coated with a mixture of vegetable oil and olive oil and fry for about 3 to 4 minutes. Then turn over carefully away from you that way if there is a little splatter, it goes away from you. I use a fork to do this and not tongs. I find that when I use tongs I tear up the coating from the cutlet. A fork works nicely for me. Use what makes you feel comfortable. Cook on the other side for another 3 to 4 minutes until golden brown.
Place on a platter lined with paper towels. Continue to fry remaining cutlets. Now when your oil starts to become loaded with brown bits and looks like this….
then it is time to wipe off the pan and add more oil. Make sure you bring up to temperature before continuing. Now, you may not have to change the oil. The picture is really dark because I am using a nonstick pan so don’t get scared. If you are frying and the oil looks okay, then continue. When I make these, I make a big batch just like my Aunt Julia. I serve some for dinner and use the rest for sandwiches.
If you have any egg mixture and breadcrumbs leftover after coating the cutlets, combine them, make a patty, and fry. My aunt would make these “fritters” and my brother and I would fight for them when we were kids. They were a treat. Now, I do the same for my kids and they consider it the best part.
These Italian Chicken Cutlets are delicious, crunchy, and flavorful. Serve them as is or with a side of your choice. Make a Chicken Parmesan using my Quick Tomato Sauce and top with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Serve with your favorite pasta.
Give them a try and… Mangia Mangia!
- 2 pounds chicken breasts* please see note
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup of olive oil canola oil, or mixture of both for frying
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
In a shallow dish, whisk eggs and season with salt and pepper.
In another shallow dish, add the breadcrumbs and combine with Parmesan cheese.
Dip each cutlet in the eggs and let excess drip.Then coat with the breadcrumbs patting the crumbs ensuring they stick to the cutlet.
Place on a baking sheet until all the cutlets are breaded.
Coat the bottom of a large nonstick skillet with the oil(s) over medium high heat. You’ll know it’s hot when the oil starts to ripple.
Working in batches, add the cutlets to the hot skillet and cook for about 3 - 4 minutes on each side.
Transfer cutlets to a platter or baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. Season with salt, if desired. Taste first because the Parmesan is salty.
Place the cutlets on a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm.
In between batches, check if oil is full of brown bits and pan needs to be wiped clean and new oil added or just remove brown bits before continuing.
Serve the cutlets with your choice of sides or use to make Chicken Parmesan using my Quick Tomato Sauce.
*You can purchased thin chicken cutlets to make it easier. Or, if you are comfortable with your knife skills, you can slice each breast horizontally across creating 2 thin cutlets. Alternatively, you can pound each breast gently between 2 pieces of wax or parchment paper starting from the center out until 1/4" thick.