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How to Make Chicken Cutlets: Perfect for Chicken Parmigiana

Rose Mary's mother and all of her aunts are great Southern cooks. She likes to think she's not so bad herself.

I had never made chicken cutlets before, so I decided to give it a try. I coated them in Italian bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. I usually use this coating for oven-baked tenders, so I decided to try it with breasts. I pounded the breasts to a more uniform thickness, coated them with the cheese and breading mixture, and fried them. I was very pleased with the results. I think they turned out beautiful. It’s pretty amazing how much flavor is imparted by just two ingredients for the coating.

Beautiful Parmesan Crusted Chicken Cutlet

Beautiful Parmesan Crusted Chicken Cutlet

Use the flat side of a meat mallet to pound chicken breasts to a relatively uniform thickness

Use the flat side of a meat mallet to pound chicken breasts to a relatively uniform thickness

Preparing the Chicken Breasts

I used boneless skinless breasts, which of course vary in thickness, with the head end being much thicker than the lower end. This makes it more difficult to adequately cook the thick part without drying out the thinner end. Pounding the breasts will help achieve more uniform thickness for more even cooking.

Cover your cutting board with plastic wrap, place the breasts on the board one at a time, and cover them with plastic wrap. Used the flat side of a large meat mallet to flatten the breasts into a more uniform thickness. This will make the cutlet expand in surface area. If you have very large pieces to begin with, you may want to cut them into two portions.

Slicing Chicken Breasts

As an alternative to pounding to flatten, you can slice the breasts. This may be easier if they are still semi-frozen. Sometimes my local HEB grocery store has chicken breast slices.

Place cutlets in the egg wash to coat each side

Place cutlets in the egg wash to coat each side

Egg Wash and Breading

Beat two to three eggs in a flat dish, like a small pie dish. In another flat dish, add fine Italian bread crumbs like Progresso, and a slightly lesser portion of Parmesan cheese. For example, for several cutlets, use 1 cup bread crumbs and ¾ cup of Parmesan. Stir to combine the crumbs and cheese.

Place a cutlet in the egg. I usually let it sit 20 seconds or so, then turn and let it sit briefly again.

Move the egg-coated cutlet to the bread crumb-cheese mixture. Allow to sit about 20 seconds, turn and let it sit briefly again. Make additional turns as needed to ensure meat is thoroughly coated with the bread crumb-cheese mixture on both sides.


Have your skillet ready with about ¼ inch of hot vegetable oil or other preferred oil, on medium or medium high heat. Place two battered portions in the frying pan, or three if you are using a very large pan. Do not crowd the meat in the pan.

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Cook for two to three minutes, then turn and cook another two to three minutes. Obviously you want to make sure the chicken portions are thoroughly cooked, preferably without drying them out.

When meat is done, remove from the pan to several layers of paper towel. Place additional layer of towel on top, or dab the tops with a paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Beautiful! These Parmesan Italian chicken cutlets are delicious, and perfect for chicken parmigiana.

Chicken Parmigiana with pasta

Chicken Parmigiana with pasta

Chicken Parmigiana

I love just about any Italian dish. Chicken parmigiana sounds pretty fancy, but you can make a relatively easy version. Just prepare chicken cutlets, and serve with spaghetti sauce, pasta, and cheese.


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 c Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 ¼ c Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 lg eggs
  • 2 jars spaghetti sauce
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese
  • 1 lb pasta


1. Prepare chicken cutlets as above.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees while meat is cooking. Set pasta water on to boil.

3. Pour ½ jar of spaghetti sauce into an 11 x 13 baking dish. Place chicken over the sauce.

4. Top each meat portion with remaining sauce, then top each with 1 oz mozzarella, and 1/8 cup Parmesan each.

5. Bake for 20 minutes.

6. Boil pasta to desired texture.

7. Serve cutlets with pasta and sauce.

© 2010 rmcrayne

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