Breaded Pesto Chicken Cutlets

Breaded Pesto Chicken Cutlets

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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.

 

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Breaded Pesto Chicken Cutlets are cut into strips in the foreground, while whole cutlets remain on a parchment lined tray in the background. A black kitchen towel, knife, fresh basil and pesto adorn the scene.
Breaded Pesto Chicken Cutlets
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    8 cutlets 35 minutes
    Cook Time
    12-15 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    8 cutlets 35 minutes
    Cook Time
    12-15 minutes
    Breaded Pesto Chicken Cutlets are cut into strips in the foreground, while whole cutlets remain on a parchment lined tray in the background. A black kitchen towel, knife, fresh basil and pesto adorn the scene.
    Breaded Pesto Chicken Cutlets
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      8 cutlets 35 minutes
      Cook Time
      12-15 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      8 cutlets 35 minutes
      Cook Time
      12-15 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: cutlets
      Instructions
      1. Using a blender or mini processor combine the first 7 ingredients and blend until combined but still has some texture. Set aside.
      2. 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.
      3. 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.
      4. Place chicken pieces between 2 pieces of parchment. Pound to about a 1/4" thick (no thinner).
      5. Dredge chicken cutlets with flour, shaking off excess.
      6. Dunk floured cutlets into egg wash and then into bread crumbs, turning to coat evenly. Arrange prepared cutlets onto a clean plate or tray.
      7. 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.
      8. Turn oven to broil, with rack 8-10" from heat.
      9. 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.
      Recipe Notes

      -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.

      Mexican Jalapeño Cheddar Croquettes

      Mexican Jalapeño Cheddar Croquettes

      Mexican Jalapeno Cheddar Croquettes piled high in while bowl and garnished with fresh cilantro.

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      With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, you are bound to have leftover mashed potatoes. Mexican Jalapeño Cheddar Croquettes will be your reason not to forget them at the back of the fridge. Maybe you even still have company and need to put out a few snacks. These little potato bombs are super crispy, cheesy and just a little spicy. They’re perfect for passing around and dipping in your favourite salsa.

      A bit of information on the recipe today. First, I chose to amp up the coating by using ground-up corn tortilla chips mixed with panko breadcrumbs. Panko instead of regular breadcrumbs because they’re coarser and give more crunch than fine breadcrumbs. Homemade breadcrumbs would have a similar result as you could control the grind. For the tortilla crumbs, I used Tostitos Extra Thick tortilla chips but any corn tortilla chip will do. Don’t be skimpy on the coating and pack on as much as the egg wash will hold. This will ensure a thick coating and help hold in the melty cheese trying to escape.

      I chose to shape the croquettes into approximate 2” long ovals, but round or tubular will also work. I think for sharing, forming into a 1 3/4” ball would be best. A better crunch to soft potato ratio in my opinion and therefore more snacky like. However, if you’re having them with a salad, the larger oval is a good fit. I’m not that fussy, just sharing my thoughts on the matter.

      I love this recipe because of the tortilla breadcrumb coating. It makes for an amazing crunch and cooks to a picture-perfect golden. Using pickled jalapeños not only softens the heat of the pepper but adds a little acidity to all the starchy potato and melty cheese. As a bonus, these Mexican Jalapeño Cheddar Croquettes are a great way to use up any leftover mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

      Mexican Jalapeno Cheddar Croquettes piled high in while bowl and garnished with fresh cilantro.

      Mexican Jalapeno Cheddar Croquettes piled high in while bowl and garnished with fresh cilantro.
      Mexican Jalapeno Cheddar Croquettes
      Print Recipe
      Super crispy little potato bombs filled with cheddar and jalapeño.
        Servings Prep Time
        20-22 croquettes 15 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        15 minutes 20 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        20-22 croquettes 15 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        15 minutes 20 minutes
        Mexican Jalapeno Cheddar Croquettes piled high in while bowl and garnished with fresh cilantro.
        Mexican Jalapeno Cheddar Croquettes
        Print Recipe
        Super crispy little potato bombs filled with cheddar and jalapeño.
          Servings Prep Time
          20-22 croquettes 15 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          15 minutes 20 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          20-22 croquettes 15 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          15 minutes 20 minutes
          Ingredients
          Croquettes
          Breading
          Servings: croquettes
          Instructions
          Croquettes
          1. In a large bowl stir together mashed potatoes, sour cream, egg, salt and pepper until well combined. Stir in cheddar cheese, jalapeño and chives. Place approximately 3 tbsp of mixture in the palm of your hand and roll into a 2" long oval. Continue with remaining potato, placing each on a tray when formed. If shaping round, use a one ounce cookie scoop. Cover and chill for at least 20 minutes. Can be done several hours ahead.
          2. Place several croquettes into flour and turn to coat. Shake off excess and dunk in egg wash, turning to coat completely. Scoop out of egg wash and roll in breadcrumbs, pressing gently to adhere and coat completely. Set aside on a tray and repeat with remaining croquettes.
          3. Using a deep fryer or large pot with at least 3" of oil, heat to 350℉. Gently place as many croquettes that will fit (without overcrowding) into the pot. Maintaining 350℉ cook for 4-5 minutes. Using a slotted scoop remove croquettes to a paper towel-lined plate. Keep warm in a low oven and repeat with remaining croquettes. Serve immediately with your favourite salsa.
          Breading
          1. Using three shallow dishes, in the first combine ground tortilla chips, breadcrumbs and chill powder. In the second whisk eggs with milk. For the third, generously season the flour with salt and pepper. Arrange dishes for breading station starting with flour, egg wash and breadcrumbs.
          Recipe Notes

          -Pulse tortilla chips in a mini processor until the size of panko breadcrumbs.  If a processor is unavailable, place tortilla chips in a sealable bag and crush them with a rolling pin.

          -The recipe will yield about 36 croquettes if made round and using a one-ounce scoop.

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          Affiliate Disclosure

          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com