Chicken Cutlets: the classic Italian recipe for making breaded chicken

Total time: 30 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist

Chicken cutlets is a popular Italian main dish recipe, where it’s known as cotolette di pollo. But these days, it’s popular all over the world. It’s made by coating thin chicken breast cutlets with an egg wash and breadcrumb mixture and pan-frying until golden.

For many home cooks, crumbed chicken cutlets may seem rather intimidating. But it’s very easy to make. You simply bread thinned chicken cutlets with eggwash and breadcrumbs and then pan-fry them in hot oil until golden brown. That’s really all there’s to it. Eat the chicken cutlets as a main with vegetables and a side salad. Or use them to make a chicken sandwich or chicken burger.

What Are Chicken Cutlets?

There’s no need to buy special chicken cutlets. A chicken cutlet is simply a chicken breast that’s been cut horizontally to make two thinner chicken meat pieces. The cutlet can also be pounded to thin the meat out, resulting in quick and even cooking.

Italian Chicken Cutlet Ingredients

Chicken breast – you will need four chicken breasts cut in half to produce eight pieces of chicken cutlets.

Eggs – use large eggs.

Breadcrumbs – use store-bought breadcrumbs or make your own.

Oil –use oil suitable for frying at higher temperatures, like canola, peanut, sunflower, or corn oil. Don’t use olive oil, as it’s not suitable for frying.

How To Make Chicken Cutlets

Slice the chicken breasts in half and thin them out by pounding each cutlet with a meat mallet or rolling pin. Pounding the chicken breast beforehand will create uniform thickness, which ensures even cooking. If you don’t have a meat mallet, you can use any heavy object (a skillet, rolling pin, or even a wine bottle). Make sure to cover the chicken breast with plastic wrap, or place it in a Ziploc bag before pounding.

Set up a breading station by whisking the eggs with salt and pepper. And placing the breadcrumbs in another bowl. To make sure the breading sticks to the chicken, the surface should be dry. Pat the chicken cutlets dry with towel paper. Dip each chicken cutlet in the egg mixture and then coat it with breadcrumbs. Repeat the process with eggs and breadcrumbs until all cutlets are covered.

Heat peanut oil (or other oil, if using) in a large frying pan over medium heat. Fry the cutlets in the oil until golden brown on both sides.

Tips For Making Crispy Chicken Cutlets

Add herbs to the breading for more flavor. Make your own herb seasoning by mixing together 3 Tbsp dried thyme, 2 Tbsp each dried savory, oregano, and parsley, and 1 Tbsp each dried rosemary, and marjoram. Use a tablespoon for the recipe and store the test in an airtight container.

To make the Chicken Cutlets even crispier, toast the breadcrumbs in the oven before using them. You can also use Panko breadcrumbs.

For a gluten-free alternative, substitute the breadcrumbs with crushed cornflakes or polenta.

Don’t feel like frying? You can also bake these cutlets in the oven at 400°F/200°C for 15 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

What To Serve With Italian Chicken Cutlets

Serve this deliciously crispy Chicken Cordon Bleu with a side of grilled green beans, French fries or mashed potato.

How To Store Chicken Cutlets

Store leftover chicken cutlets in the fridge for up to 3 days.

More Recipes You'll Like

Chicken cutlets
Peanut oil


First, beat the eggs and season them with salt and pepper.

Then dip each chicken cutlet in the egg mixture.

Coat it with breadcrumbs.

Repeat the process with eggs and breadcrumbs.

Heat peanut oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. It’s important to keep the oil at the correct temperature. If the oil is too cold, the chicken cutlets will absorb too much oil and become soggy. But if it’s too hot, the breading on the chicken will burn before the chicken is cooked through. Use a thermometer to heat the oil to about 350°F. Add the chicken cutlets into the hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides. Remember to always cook the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F when you check with a digital food thermometer.

Remove from the pan and let it drain on plate with paper. Then serve and enjoy!

Every dish has a story
Find out more on Cookist social networks
api url views