Pecan Crusted Chicken Cutlets

Pecan Crusted Chicken Cutlets

Pecan Crusted Chicken Cutlets

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If any of you have been following me, you know I’m a huge fan of chicken cutlets. They’re tender, juicy and cook quickly, making them perfect for your weeknight dinner. I also like that the options for them are endless too, like Chicken Piccata Sandwich or Tarragon Chicken Cutlets.

Pecan Crusted Chicken Cutlets fried golden in a stainless steel skillet resting on a gray granite trivet.

Today’s chicken cutlet gets coated with pecan breading that panfries beautifully, as long as you keep the heat under control. The pecans are mild enough not to overwhelm the chicken and provide a bit of crunch and nutty flavour. You can eat these delicious cutlets on their own but my personal favourite is dolloped with my Cherry Salsa You can also top them with your favourite red pepper jelly or spicy apple jelly. You may also want to try a crispy cutlet on a bun with cool crunchy lettuce and a slathering of mayo and Cherry Salsa. It’s darn good!!

Pecan Crusted Chicken Cutlets cut and served on a gray granite serving platter with Cherry Salsa and green onions.
Pecan Crusted Chicken Cutlets served in a shallow bowl on top of rice with Cherry Salsa and green onions.

Pecan Crusted Chicken Cutlets served in a shallow bowl on top of rice with Cherry Salsa and green onions.
Pecan Crusted Chicken Cutlets
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    3-4 people 25-30 minutes
    Cook Time
    12-18 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    3-4 people 25-30 minutes
    Cook Time
    12-18 minutes
    Pecan Crusted Chicken Cutlets served in a shallow bowl on top of rice with Cherry Salsa and green onions.
    Pecan Crusted Chicken Cutlets
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      3-4 people 25-30 minutes
      Cook Time
      12-18 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      3-4 people 25-30 minutes
      Cook Time
      12-18 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      1. Cut chicken breasts in half and then cut each half horizontally, giving you 8 pieces. Place each piece between two sheets of parchment or plastic wrap and pound to an approximate 1/4" thickness with the flat side of a meat mallet or rolling pin. Season both sides of each cutlet with salt and pepper.
      2. Using a food processor, grind pecans until fine. Add breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and pulse several times to combine. Pour crumbs into a shallow bowl.
      3. In a separate shallow bowl whisk together eggs, sour cream and milk.
      4. Add 1/3 cup flour to a separate shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper. Arrange bowls for breading starting with the flour, then the egg wash and pecan crumbs last.
      5. Heat one tablespoon of oil and one tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Toss 3-4 cutlets into the flour and turn to coat, shaking off the excess flour. Place one cutlet at a time into the egg wash and coat completely. Lay cutlet into pecan crumbs and turn to coat, pressing lightly to adhere the crumbs. Place 3-4 breaded cutlets into the hot pan (don't overcrowd the pan) and cook 3 minutes per side, adjusting your heat if needed. Nuts burn easily, so medium-low heat is recommended.
      6. Remove cooked cutlets to a plate and keep warm in a low oven while cooking remaining cutlets. Wipe out the loose crumbs from the pan with a paper towel after each batch.
      7. Serve cutlets immediately with Cherry Salsa, red pepper jelly or apple fig spread.

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      Breaded Pesto Chicken Cutlets

      Breaded Pesto Chicken Cutlets

       

      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.

       

      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.

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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