Crispy Breaded Chicken Cutlets are full of flavor because they are first marinated with fresh lemon juice and herbs before being breaded. I've tested this recipe over the years, and can confidently say this recipe makes the crispiest chicken cutlets ever, ready in just 30 minutes. Choose from three breading options, to make this recipe your own!
Using a kitchen mallet or rolling pin, flatten the chicken until it is about 1/2 inch in thickness.
Marinate the Chicken
In a mixing bowl, marinate the chicken with lemon juice, salt, pepper, dried oregano, garlic powder and onion powder. Marinate for at least 15 minutes or up to 24 hours.
Breading the Chicken Cutlets
Place the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs (choose from panko, plain breadcrumbs Or cornflakes) in three separate shallow dishes. Make sure to season all three layers, as this results in a very flavorful cutlet.
Dip each chicken breast in flour, lightly shaking the excess flour. Gently dip it in the egg wash and then coat with breadcrumbs. Repeat until all chicken cutlets are coated with breadcrumbs. Tip: If using cornflakes, crush them first so they adhere to the cutlets easily. I do this by placing the cornflakes in a ziplock bag and gently bash them with a rolling pin.
Frying the Chicken Cutlets
Heat oil to medium high in a frying pan, and fry the chicken breasts until golden brown (for about 4-5 minutes on each side or until cooked through and internal temperature reaches 165 F / 73.9 C). Cooking time will vary according to thickness of the cutlets.
Baking the Chicken Cutlets
Preheat oven to 200 C, and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Spray it lightly with oil, then place the breaded cutlets on to it. Lightly spray the top with oil. Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through, flipping sides once in between.
Transfer cooked cutlets onto a cooling rack. This will ensure the bottom of the cutlets do not get soggy.
Prepare the Chicken Breasts: If your chicken breasts are large, then you may have to first slice the chicken breasts into half lengthwise and then flatten with a kitchen mallet or rolling pin. The chicken breasts I used were small, so I only flattened them with a kitchen mallet.
Marination: I highly recommend marinating the chicken as it yields a very flavorful and juicy chicken cutlet. Minimum marination time: 15 minutes. The longer you marinate, the more flavorful it will be.
Choose your breadcrumbs: You can use plain breadcrumbs, panko breadcrumbs OR cornflakes. My favorite result was with the cornflakes crusted cutlets as they were very flavorful, and remained crispy for hours whether they were baked or fried. My least favorite of the three options was plain breadcrumbs.
Season all the layers of the breading stage with salt & pepper: the flour, the eggs and the breadcrumbs. This ensures in a really flavorful cutlet as compared to a bland one.
How to ensure the breading doesn't fall off: Coating with flour, eggs and then breadcrumbs ensures that the breading does not fall off.
Amount of Oil for Shallow Frying: the oil should be about 1/2 inch in depth. We are not aiming for deep fried here.
Shallow Fry on Medium Heat: to check if the oil is ready, drop in a pinch of breadcrumbs, they should gently sizzle, and should not turn brown quickly (see in video). Fry on both sides for 4-5 minutes until golden brown and done. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the cutlets, however. The thicker the cutlets, the longer they'll take to cook.
Baking Tips: Prepare your baking tray by lining it with parchment paper OR foil. Lightly spray with oil, and place the breaded cutlets onto it. Lightly spray oil over the cutlets as well. I prefer parchment paper over foil, as sometimes the cutlets can stick to the foil.
How to check for doneness: According to FDA recommendations, cooked chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165 F, when a kitchen thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the breast. You can also check for doneness by slicing the cutlet into half. The meat should be white, and the juices should run clear.
Make that crispiness last for longer: Place cooked chicken cutlets on a cooling rack instead of a paper towel lined plate. This ensures that the chicken does not get soggy on the bottom, as this allows the air to circulate. Resulting in total crispy factor!
Storage: Cooked chicken cutlets can be stored in the fridge in airtight container for up to 1-2 days. However, they won't remain as crispy as they are when fresh. They still taste delicious!
Freezing: To freeze the uncooked breaded chicken cutlets, first flash freeze them in a single layer on a parchment lined tray. When they are semi solid, transfer them to a ziplock bag and freeze up to 1 month.