Cast Iron

Herbed Chicken Cutlets with Panko and Parmesan

January 22, 2010
10 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

My meat-and-potatoes fiancé loves German food, and wiener schnitzel is perhaps his favorite dish in the world. So one night recently, I decided to attempt a chicken cutlet that could stand up to even the best schnitzel. Ina Garten first introduced me to the notion of adding grated parmesan and fresh herbs to the breadcrumbs when making cutlets, and some time ago I decided I preferred panko to plain breadcrumbs because of the extra crunch. I also find that by pounding the chicken breasts as thin as possible (I just cover them with plastic wrap and have at them with a rolling pin—very cathartic) and keeping the heat fairly high, I end up with crisp, evenly browned cutlets and juicy, tender meat in under 5 minutes. To aid with the browning and crisping, I like to add a knob of butter to the vegetable oil before frying. Confident that I had this one in the bag, I whipped up my signature cutlets, along with some smashed potatoes and green beans. I put the plate in front of my fiancé, and his reaction was exactly what I had been hoping for. Not a crumb was left on the plate.
Merrill Stubbs

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped assorted fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, rosemary)
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to about 1/4 inch thick
  1. In a wide shallow bowl or pie plate, stir together the panko, herbs, parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. In another bowl, crack the eggs, add a pinch of salt and pepper and lightly beat with a fork. In a third bowl, stir together the flour and a large pinch each of salt and pepper. Line a baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet (I like to use cast iron for this) over a medium-high flame. Add the butter. In the meantime, coat one of the chicken breasts with the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. Dip the breast in the egg mixture, and then in the breadcrumbs, pressing them lightly so that they adhere. Set on a plate and repeat with the other chicken breast.
  3. When the butter just starts to turn brown, gently lay both of the chicken breasts in the pan, side by side. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the bottom is golden brown and crispy. Gently turn the chicken over and cook for another couple of minutes, until both sides are evenly browned. Remove the chicken and let it drain on the paper-towel lined baking sheet for a minute or so. Serve immediately, ideally with mashed potatoes and something green.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • gingerroot
  • sc
  • Brian Zimmel
    Brian Zimmel
  • Kathy Sisa-at
    Kathy Sisa-at
  • procrastibaker

23 Reviews

Laceymay129 December 18, 2020
Made it, loved it! Easy and fast!😋
gingerroot May 10, 2016
These turned out great! My 8 yo son was tasked with searching food52 for a chicken recipe for dinner and this is what he chose. We were not disappointed! We had to sub stone ground cornmeal and crushed cornflakes because of my husband's gluten allergy but the cutlets were perfect. Flavorful from the herbs (sage, parsley, oregano) and parm, crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. This recipe is going into the regular rotation. Thanks, Merrill!
Sixblade K. May 30, 2015
Tasted pretty good. Inexperienced kitchen chefs beware. Pound the chicken breast with care as its not like veal or pork and it will shred to bits if not done gently.
sc March 5, 2015
Tried this recipe twice already, great both times. Tonight I'll be doing it again, this time I'm going to try baking it in the oven :)
Brian Z. January 25, 2015
Was looking for an easy recipe for dinner and this worked perfectly! I prepared roasted red potatoes and had them in the oven while I prepped and cooked the chicken. I used five thin sliced breasts from Trader Joe's without pounding them out, but that was one too many as I needed to add more breadcrumbs and oil. Now I know for the next time I make this dish.
Kathy S. January 8, 2015
I made this last night with my boyfriend and it came out delicious. I will definitely make this again. The only thing we did differently was we sliced the chicken breast and pounded it out. So we got four chicken cutlets from two breasts. It came out to be the perfect amount as one whole breast may have been too much.
procrastibaker November 11, 2013
I made this tonight, and it was fabulous. We used pork instead of chicken, and equal parts tarragon, thyme, and parsley for the herbs. After breading the cutlets, I put them in the fridge for about 30 minutes to ensure maximum crispiness during the frying process, and to start the meat cool, so it wouldn't get rubbery. It took about 3 minutes on each side using cast iron skillets for the frying. Delicious, and the coating even stayed crispy after we squeezed lemon over it! Served it with Molly Stevens' sweet braised scallions and leftover potatoes dauphinoise: a perfectly satisfying meal. Can't wait to use the leftover cutlets in sandwiches this week.
Kiralie September 19, 2013
To save on washing up, I use baking paper for the flour and crumbs, only the egg gets a dish. You can freeze leftover panko mixture for next time....mustard works well on the chicken too if you don't eat egg.
Valerie S. August 7, 2013
This was my maiden voyage at pounding out chicken cutlets, and it was amazing! Definitely the most succulent chicken I've ever cooked and a huge winner with the audience. I wonder if there's a faster/easier version that requires fewer dishes. I also found the quantities off. I needed much less than half a cup of flour, and had quite a bit of crumb-mixture left over too. (Maybe because I used ordinary bread crumbs, not panko?) And, those quantities were for 8 thin cutlets (from about 1.25lbs chicken breast). Agree with everyone who put lemon juice on it.
Ceege March 26, 2013
I have not tried this recipe yet, but normally when I bread chicken or fish, I use "Light" mayo to cut the meat, then dip in the breading. The mayo helps keep the chicken/fish moist and also the panko crumbs seem to adhere better. I will update when I try the recipe "as is"....
EmilyC June 12, 2012
Love this recipe! I like to use whole-milk buttermilk instead of eggs and also mix the zest of one lemon into the panko, saving the lemon to squeeze over the cutlets before eating. It's a fabulous recipe for adults and kids alike. Who needs chicken tenders when you have these?!? : )
irinaleibo June 11, 2012
I make this twice a month and add just a drop of citrus infused EVOO to the egg mixture.
It's wonderful.
LauriL May 15, 2012
Made this last night but used dark sourdough pretzels (ran out of Panko) Fantastic! Not too salty either!
cheese1227 May 14, 2012
My kids just love these!
Teresa W. May 7, 2012
I love wiener schnitzel which is why I tried this recipe and its just the perfect replication of the crunch and the well-pounded out meat without the frying and significantly less calories. The herbs add a wonderful flavor without having to over salt and I like to sprinkle some lemon over the chicken after it has cooled as well. I usually serve it with a bit of pasta and butter and string beans, which is how I once had weiner schnitzel in college at a roommate's house and it stuck with me as a comfort meal. Also, as a side note, Merrill has definitely perfected this recipe because the chicken stays crisp and reheats well for a day or two. Thank you!
Aleah April 24, 2012
I made this with chives, mint, and basil, since that's what I have in the garden. My husband, 3-year-old daughter, and 10-month-old baby all loved it.
Lilismom April 21, 2012
I have been making a similar dish just never added the herbs. Tonight, I wil!
Federico_ February 10, 2012
I've been making this dish for years. It's my favorite standby when I want to make something I can't count on and that doesn't take too much effort.
Federico_ February 10, 2012
I've been making this dish for years. It's my favorite standby when I want to make something I can't count on and that doesn't take too much effort.
madame C. December 22, 2011
I made this last night and it was so yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipe. It was a great hit in my house!