Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Parmesan Chicken Cutlets

When I was a little girl, we moved from the city to an archetypal, all-American, small town. Just a block up the road was a group of stores that included a pharmacy with a great collection of greeting cards and a chest freezer filled with frozen treats.  When my cousins visited, we were allowed to walk to the pharmacy and buy whatever we wanted. I can remember sitting on the front steps of our home eating creamsicles, fudgesicles or drumstick ice-cream cones very slowly because we didn't want to be the first one finished.  

Next to the pharmacy was a delicatessen/butcher shop.  Many times my mom would send me to purchase deli-meat, cheese or cuts of meat for our dinner.  It was a family owned business and I still recall how nice they all were. So there was little me, list in hand, ordering a pound of this and a half-pound of that.

Back then, we were a meat-and-potatoes kind of family.  I can only guess how many pounds of potatoes I peeled growing up! And, chicken cutlets were routinely served on our pretty Melmac dinner plates.

I still love chicken cutlets, although we don't have fried food nearly as often as when growing up. No more cast iron skillet filled with hot oil.  Now when I fry, I add as little oil as possible and found using a ceramic pan I can get away with much less.

You can do a lot of things with chicken cutlets.  Top with mozzarella cheese and your favorite marinara sauce for a classic Chicken Parmesan atop a bed of spaghetti. Place on a bun with lettuce and a tomato slice with a smear of mayo of dollop of barbecue sauce.  Or serve just plain with ketchup for dipping. Yes, the kid in me still rules.

This time I was inspired by how Ina Garten serves hers.  Topped with some salad greens dressed as you please. (Ina used a simple lemon vinaigrette but I think you could just use your favorite.

So, prepare to get your fingers messy and dirty lots of dishes because chicken cutlets are worth the mess.
Parmesan Chicken Cutlets
 (Serves 6-8 at least)

PRINT RECIPE

Ingredients:
4 large skinless, boneless chicken breast
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 large eggs
splash water or milk
1+ cup seasoned, dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
vegetable oil

Directions
Cut each chicken breast (crosswise) into 1 1/4-inch slices. (You should get about 5 from an average size chicken breast)

Place chicken into a plastic zip bag, and using a meat mallet or rolling pin, pound the chicken to 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick, being careful not to tear it. Repeat will all of the chicken.

Gather three shallow bowls and a plate or pan.  Add flour, salt and pepper to the first bowl. Add the eggs and water to the second bowl and beat with fork. To the third bowl, add the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.

Dredge each chicken cutlet in the flour, shaking off excess, then into the egg mixture and finally into the breadcrumbs, pressing to completely coat. Place onto plate or pan.

Heat a non-stick skillet to medium and add about 1 Tbs. oil.  Using tongs, gently place cutlets in pan leaving space around each.  Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on thickness. Flip and continue cooking on the other side until nicely browned and cooked through. Remove to a cooling rack.  Cook remaining cutlets adding more oil as needed. Wipe pan between batches if needed.

If you want to top with salad greens as Ina did, wash and spin dry your greens. Toss with your favorite vinaigrette or prepare Ina's Lemon Vinaigrette by whisking together the following:

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 
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16 comments:

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Chicken cutlets are delicious and this recipe looks good and easy. I don't deep fry anything anymore.

Oh my goodness, we had a set of Melmac dishes when we got married. A turquoise and green pattern. :-)

Enjoy the rest of your week ~ FlowerLady

Debbie Petras said...

Ina Garten is my favorite food network star! Years ago she had a shop in East Hampton and I was fortunate to go there and get a signed copy of her first cookbook.

Blessings and love,
Debbie

podso said...

I grew up on Melmac too! And the chicken is something I will sometimes order in an Italian restaurant. I have a recipe we love that roasts the chicken with breadcrumbs and some mayo. Pretty good and no frying (but mayo!!) :-(

Sandi said...

These look yummy!!!!!!

Debby Ray said...

Lorraine, you had me at "melmac"! I not only remember it from my growing up years, but I we even received a set of it as a wedding gift. My son still has the plates that were his grandma's and I have ONE cereal bowl left from our wedding set! Brings back such memories! And those chicken cutlets...well, they look amazing!

Adrienne said...

I love chicken cutlets. Haven't had them in a long time. Think I should try this recipe.
~Adrienne~

Melissa @ My Recent Favorite Books said...

I enjoyed reading your memories from when you were young! I love frozen treats too, your story brought back such wonderful recipes! =)

Love your Chicken recipe! =)

Ann said...

I love chicken no matter how it's cooked and I could happily eat it every day but Wade is a beef eater...lol
I remember all those mom and pop kind of stores back when I was a kid. It was always fun to go in. My favorite was a little corner store that had a big penny candy case.

Catherine said...

Wonderful and comforting meal. Blessings, Catherine

NanaDiana said...

Oh- That sounds so good! When I sat down to the computer tonight I thought about you!!! I thought you hadn't posted in a while and I was going to look you up!

I love this recipe. My Dad used to go down to the cattle auction on Mondays and he would bring me home a cutlet wrapped in wax paper for a treat. I am going to try this recipe! xo Diana

Just a little something from Judy said...

Once again, you provided a recipe for me, that I know my husband would like. We have not had chicken cutlets for years, and we never had any that looked as good as yours do on this post! Thanks so much! I liked the popsicle treat memory too. What fun to treasure memories like those in your heart.

Debbie Huffaker said...

You're an amazing cook. Those look delicious. Hope you're feeling better.

Patti said...

I saw your blog listed on someone's sidebar, and because your blog title reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, I just had to stop by.


"Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayer and worn with thanks." (Thomas Goodwin)

I love the story of going to the pharmacy when you were a kid. I have memories like those too. Good times!

I am your newest follower.

Blessings,
Patti

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What a lovely idea! I think my favorite Caesar Salad dressing on the greens would be perfect. Leave it to Ina!

Linda P said...

What a wonderful recipe. Messy is always good in my book, regarding cooking and flavoring. It's so worth it. Love the idea of salad greens on top.

lindsey said...

That's a lively childhood story. Recipe looks pretty good too!

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