The chicken cutlet. A dinner staple in many households, something the whole family loves. Also, incredibly versatile – add chicken cutlet to anything, a salad, a sandwich and boom you have yourself a great meal. When I make my weekly batch of crispy chicken cutlet I am sure to make some extra so that with the leftovers I get to make chicken cutlet sandwiches. My chicken cutlet sandwich recipe is pretty simple, only a few ingredients and a lot of love.
I don’t know about you but nothing beats a very thinly sliced boneless and skinless chicken breast for chicken cutlets. You can of course buy them like this from your local butcher who will go the extra mile and pound them very thin for you. however, It is way more cost effective to buy whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, slice them and pound them thin yourself. I slice mine (you are definitely going to want to use a sharp knife).
Place the pieces of chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper. Next, you’ll take out all of your frustrations on the cutlets with a meat mallet. This same technique could also be done with veal cutlets or boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
Now that we have our very thin chicken cutlets lets start the coating process. You will need one bowl for your egg mixture and then one bowl for your breadcrumbs and a large plate or platter for your prepared cutlets. I usually prepare about 8 cutlets. This gets me some for one dinner and then a couple of leftover chicken cutlets for 2 chicken cutlet sandwiches the following day. This amount calls for 2 large eggs about 2 tbsp milk and then season with salt and pepper.
Once you have that all added to a bowl, whisk until well combined. For the breadcrumbs I like 4C seasoned breadcrumbs – I season with a little bit of salt and pepper just because I believe you should season all layers of food. I also love to use my homemade Italian breadcrumbs when I have them, talk about fresh! Lets get those hands dirty – after all they are your most important kitchen tools!
Dip each cutlet one at a time in your egg mixture, then let the excess egg mixture drip off for a second and then add the cutlet to the breadcrumb mixture. Pat the first side of the cutlet and then flip over and pat the second side of the chicken cutlet into the bread crumbs until the cutlet is completely covered with breadcrumbs. Transfer each prepared chicken cutlet to a clean platter in a single layer. Now repeat these steps with the remaining cutlets until all cutlets are breaded.
For the fun part, the frying! In a large heavy bottom frying pan or cast iron pan, coat add about 1-2 inches of oil. I like to use vegetable oil because I think you get the best flavor and the most even cook. You could also use avocado oil or another oil with a high smoke point. Heat your oil covered pan on medium-high heat and using a pair of tongs add a couple of the chicken cutlets at a time to the hot oil.
Let them fry for about 3-4 minutes on the first side and then flip the cutlets and cook for another 3 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees. Remove your golden brown chicken cutlets, letting the excess oil run off for a second. You can place the cutlets on a wire rack placed over a large baking sheet or on a large plate lined with paper towels. If you are going to need to keep them in a warm oven then I suggest the wire rack.
Choosing the right bread for your sandwich is probably the most important decision. Personally I think ciabatta rolls compliment the breaded chicken cutlet beautifully but really any warm crusty bread will do.
Lets build our sandwich
Start out by slicing whatever roll or hero bread you are using. Drizzle the top of the bun and the bottom of the bun with some extra virgin olive oil. Next add slices of the fresh mozzarella to the bottom half of the roll and place in a warm oven for about 5 minutes or until the mozzarella is nicely melted. Remove your sandwich and top the mozzarella cheese with sliced or whole chicken cutlet. Then, add some sliced roasted red pepper on top of the cutlets.
Drizzle with some sweet and tangy aged balsamic vinegar or a balsamic glaze and top with some fresh basil. Chefs kiss – you have a sandwich that is so next level it will surely be a repeat dinner week after week. I promise everyone will be asking for this recipe and praising you with “this is the best sandwich ever”! Serve with a side of some of my delicious and easy homemade dill pickles !