The Chicken Cutlet. As a kid growing up, this was the closest thing I could get to homemade fried chicken in my house. My mom would call this “Shennycell” which is Persian-English for Schnitzel. As you can imagine when I found out there was no such thing as “Shennycell” I was shocked.
The chicken cutlet is an underrated dinner item. When the cutlet is pan fried with some Italian breading it makes for a satisfying dinner.
Rather than going with your standard boneless/skinless breast, I used a normal split chicken breast with the bones. I did this for two reasons. One, I didn’t have any local skinless/boneless blah blah blah chicken breast readily available. And Two, I think when you cut the meat directly off the bone; it has a slightly better flavor I think.
I paired it with some roasted veggies and a tricolor fettuccine that I bought from La Pasta. I threw some diced onions into the residual frying oil to crisp up some tasty onions.
1 Split Chicken Breast
1/8 cup of Milk
2 Cups of Italian Breadcrumbs
Peanut Oil for Frying
Half Cup of Diced Onions
Sliced Zucchini & Summer Squash
For the veggies, I sliced a summer squash and a zucchini. Then I tossed them with some salt, pepper, and olive oil. I put them on a baking sheet and set in the oven for about a half hour at 350F
Marinate the chicken in salt water brine for about 2 hours. Then debone the chicken breast, taking your knife along the bone slowly pull the meat off the bone. If that wasn’t clear, use this video and skip to step 5.
*Keep the bones, you can make a great chicken broth with this*
Flatten the chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap on your cutting board with a meat mallet.
Once the chicken is flattened out, dip the chicken into your egg wash (the egg & milk). Let the excess drip off and then dip it into your breading mixture. Once the breading is evenly covering the entire breast, let it sit for about 10 minutes. This will allow the crumbs to adhere to the chicken.
Preheat your oven to 350F
While this is going on, pour enough peanut oil into a cast iron skillet for about a ¼ to ½ thickness. Then once the oil is near smoking, lay the chicken into the oil carefully (don’t burn yourself!).
Then allow the chicken to brown, I’d say at least 2 minutes if the pan is hot enough. Quickly flip it and allow the other sides to brown. Once the chicken is browned, take it out of the pan and set it on a rimmed baking sheet that is over another baking pan to allow for the oil to drip. Then place it in the oven, so that it will cook all the way through. Make sure you have something for the oil to drip into, because the cutlet will get soggy if you let the oil just sit with the chicken. Use an instant meat thermometer to make sure the chicken is cooked.
If you want to, you can also toss some diced onions into your excess oil to fry up some onions to top your cutlet with. Completely optional.
As the chicken is cooking, you can start your pasta. The pasta I use is wet pasta so it cooks pretty rapidly. I like to put enough salt in my pasta water so it tastes like the ocean (I heard that on a TV show one time, and it worked well for me). It sounds like a lot of salt, but it really gives the pasta a great flavor. Bring the water to a boil, and then add the pasta. Cook it for about 6-8 minutes depending on how you like your pasta cooked. Then toss it with olive oil and parmesan cheese.
Plate your food and enjoy!