Why are chicken cutlets so good?
Simply put, they are pounded thin. This not only makes them tender but makes them cook quickly leaving them little chance of drying out. The trick is to pound them out as evenly as possible which results in even cooking. Breading the cutlets isn’t always necessary but it does help to keep in all the moisture as does a good sear if opting not to bread them. Breaded Pesto Chicken Cutlets is a good example of both pounding thin and breading.
I love versatile food!
Breaded Pesto Chicken Cutlets are a great example of how one dish can become 3 different kinds of meals. These crispy cutlets slathered with pesto are fantastic served with buttered noodles for a quick and easy weeknight meal. They’re also great cut into wedges and served atop a crisp salad. I’m thinking my favourite though is nestling said cutlet between chewy bread and tomato slices for an upgraded sandwich that ‘s good for lunch or dinner.
Want more chicken cutlet recipes?
Crispy Chicken Sliders with Wasabi Slaw
Author: Compelled to Cook
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves lightly packed
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 3 tbsp pine nuts
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 tsp salt
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp kosher salt divided
- 1 - 1 1/4 cups panko bread crumbs
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp milk
- 16 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts about 2 medium, no fillet
- as needed canola or vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Using a blender or mini processor combine the first 7 ingredients and blend until combined but still has some texture. Set aside.
- Using three shallow bowls, combine flour and 1/2 tsp salt in one, breadcrumbs and 1/2 tsp salt in the second and the eggs whisked with the milk in the third.
- Pat chicken breasts dry with a paper towel. Cut each breast in half horizontally and then cut each half into half vertically, giving you 4 pieces per breast.
- Place chicken pieces between 2 pieces of parchment. Pound to about a 1/4" thick (no thinner).
- Dredge chicken cutlets with flour, shaking off excess.
- Dunk floured cutlets into egg wash and then into bread crumbs, turning to coat evenly. Arrange prepared cutlets onto a clean plate or tray.
- Add enough oil to a large skillet to come up about an 1/8" of an inch. Heat over medium until hot. Add 4 cutlets and cook approximately 2 1/2 minutes per side depending on thickness. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining cutlets.
- Turn oven to broil, with rack 8-10" from heat.
- Arrange cutlets on a foil lined tray. Spread 1 tbsp of pesto onto each cutlet and sprinkle lightly with grated parmesan cheese. Broil for 1-2 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
-You can use any pesto you'd like here, however, the one included with this recipe contains less oil than regular pesto. I found regular pesto makes the cutlets too oily. This slightly drier version gives the same great flavour but less oil and better results. If you'd like to use a classic pesto, here's the recipe Classic Pesto
-These cutlets are also great on top of pasta drizzled with extra pesto or in a sandwich.