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Quick and Crispy Chicken Cutlets

Quick and Crispy Chicken Cutlets 2.000

Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post

Eat Voraciously Newsletter Apr 18, 2018

Here, we discarded the typical three-part breading (flour, egg and bread crumbs) in favor of a flavorful, crispy combination of mustard and panko bread crumbs. You can use a flavored mayo instead of the mustard, if you prefer.

You can mix up your flavors even more by adding other ingredients to the coating, whether it’s Parmesan cheese, fresh herbs or dried spices.

Frying the cutlets in two batches can help ensure an evenly golden crust on all of them. If you have room in your skillet, you can cook all the cutlets at once, but be prepared to move them around for consistent cooking.

Click here to see step-by-step photos for this recipe.

Make Ahead: The cutlets can be made a day or two in advance and refrigerated. Reheat in a 350-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes until the crust is crisp and the chicken is warmed through. Or reheat in a skillet with a little bit of oil and cook on both sides.

2 - 4

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 2-4 servings

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (8 to 11 ounces each; without tenderloins)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, or more as needed
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs, or more as needed
  • 4 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil, or more as needed


Use a sharp knife to cut horizontally through each breast half. Move the knife through so the meat eventually opens like a book. Separate the two halves. (Trim and discard any visible globs of fat.)

Spread the panko bread crumbs in a shallow dish, such as a pie plate.

Use a brush or table knife to spread some mustard on the top side of a cutlet. (A thick coating will help the panko stick; apply more liberally than you would, say, as a sandwich spread, but you should still be able to see the meat.) Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Place the mustard-coated side of the chicken face down in the panko and press to adhere. Coat the other side of the chicken with mustard, season lightly with salt and pepper and flip to finish coating with the panko. Transfer to a plate; repeat with the other 3 cutlets, adding more panko to the dish, as needed.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Line a plate with paper towels.

Once the oil shimmers -- it will almost ripple -- place 2 of the cutlets in the pan (laying them in away from you, so the end closest to you hits the pan first), leaving room between them. Cook for about 2 1/2 minutes, until they are golden brown and crisp on the bottom, gently pressing down on the cutlets (a wide spatula is good) to help ensure even browning. If you get hot spots in the pan or if your oil is pooling on the sides, give the skillet a gentle shake to move things around.

Use a fork to turn over the cutlets (tongs may dislodge the breading); cook until the meat feels firm and the second side is deep golden brown and crisp, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, reducing the heat as needed to keep the breading from burning. The internal temperature of the meat should register 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer; when you cut into the center, no trace of pink should remain. Transfer them to the lined plate.

If you reduced the heat during the cooking of the first batch, return it to medium-high, adding more oil as needed; once the oil is shimmering, repeat with the remaining 2 cutlets.

Serve warm, or at room temperature.

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Recipe Source

From Voraciously lead writer Becky Krystal, partially based on a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen.

Tested by Becky Krystal.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 4): 310

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 17g 26%

Saturated Fat: 2g 10%

Cholesterol: 85mg 28%

Sodium: 240mg 10%

Total Carbohydrates: 12g 4%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 0g

Protein: 27g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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