Make Ahead

BFF Crispy Coated Chicken

September 29, 2010
9 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

I’m in the trenches everyday with a full-time job, a working husband, and kids in school. Sometimes it is a real struggle to cook dinner and pack everyone's lunches every day. When I’m in the weeds, I know I can turn to this has never let me down. Kids love it. Adults love it. It’s great hot out of the pan for dinner and still great packed for lunch the next day. Grown-ups get it sliced into a crisp green salad while kids can dip their room temp chicken into ketchup. I always make a double batch of this the night before a plane trip and pack the leftovers as sandwiches. There is nothing that can get me through the morning or a long plane flight like knowing I’m going to have a lunch date with my BFF! - monkeymom —monkeymom

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Monkeymom is an avid Food52er, weekday warrior, and scientist.
WHAT: Your new BFF. (Seriously.)
HOW: Dredge pounded-thin chicken in egg, panko, and cheese; fry it up; put on salads and sandwiches all week long.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Let's first talk about the chicken: how crispy it is, how satisfying it is, how the panko and cheese make the best crust we've had in a long time. Now, onto the dressing: This is Caesar's elegant cousin that we can't stop making. Monkeymom's recipe is now in our weekly rotation—we bet it will become a part of yours, too. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Crispy Coated Chicken
  • 1 pound chicken tenders or boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • Lemony Parmesan Dressing
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (ideally grated on a microplane)
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraiche
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 6 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Crispy Coated Chicken
  2. If using chicken breast, slice into pieces about 1/2-inch thick. Pound chicken tenders or slices between two pieces of saran wrap to 1/4-inch in thickness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Get breading stations ready. Mix flour and garlic salt on a plate. Next, beat eggs in a shallow but wide bowl. Then mix together panko and parmesan in another shallow but wide bowl or plate. Put a clean plate at that end.
  4. With one hand coat a piece of chicken with flour mixture and then drop into egg mixture. Pick it up, coat both sides with egg then drop into panko/cheese mixture. Using your other hand, coat both sides with panko/cheese. Set on the clean plate and continue coating the rest of the chicken.
  5. Add enough vegetable oil to generously coat your frying pan (I use non-stick for this) and heat on medium high heat. Once hot, add enough chicken to fill the pan. Once the coating has turned golden brown flip each slice over. Add additional oil to make sure that the panko/cheese mixture can also brown evenly on that side. When both sides are nicely browned, remove to a plate with paper towels.
  6. The chicken can be served hot or room temperature. To reheat, heat in a 350° F oven or toaster for 5 minutes or until coating sizzles.
  7. Slice to serve in a green salad with Lemony Parmesan Dressing (or your favorite).
  8. Pack chicken pieces into lunch boxes with a small container of ketchup.
  9. Tuck pieces of chicken between two slices of your favorite toast with lettuce and tomatoes.
  1. Lemony Parmesan Dressing
  2. Mash up the garlic clove your favorite way.
  3. Add garlic with Parmesan, crème fraiche, lemon juice and anchovy (if using) and mix thoroughly.
  4. Add olive oil and whisk until evenly mixed and emulsified.
  5. Taste and add salt, pepper, or more lemon juice. I like this with lots of pepper.
  6. For lunches, pack a bit of dressing in a small container and drizzle on salads or sandwich right before eating (a small baggie works well -- pour into the corner of the baggie and seal the bag, then twist the baggie right above it. When it is time for lunch, clip the corner of the bag and squeeze the dressing out).
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Karen Brooks
    Karen Brooks
  • BeckandBulow
  • Gwen Jones Sheridan
    Gwen Jones Sheridan
  • Starr O'Quinn
    Starr O'Quinn
  • Erin Doorley Awtrey
    Erin Doorley Awtrey

Recipe by: monkeymom

My favorite distraction is to cook. Though science and cooking/baking have a lot in common, I'm finding that each allows me to enjoy very different parts of my life. Cooking connects me with my heritage, my family, friends, and community. I'm really enjoying learning from the food52 community, who expose me to different ingredients and new ways to cook.

34 Reviews

Karen B. August 23, 2022
This is like an Italian riff on Japanese katsu-style or panko-coated chicken! Really delicious and the left-overs (if any) are great cold.
BeckandBulow February 3, 2022
These will be perfect for game day. Or teenagers. My son and his friends will love them and please visit us:
Sara B. June 23, 2020
I made this for dinner tonight. It was delicious. It’s basically a chicken schnitzel with Parmesan. Please note that there is honey in the list of ingredients but not in the instructions.
Gwen J. January 20, 2017
I made this last night, and it was a huge hit with the family! I didn't have any creme fraiche, so used greek yogurt instead. in the dressing. I totally agree with the comment that the salad dressing is really superb! Thanks for a great recipe.
Robert M. August 7, 2016
I have but a couple of comments on this dish. Use a zip loc to flatten the chicken. Works better than plastic wrap. I use coconut oil to do the frying and yes, pork loin slices work well too.
Chef Neaux Telle
Starr O. March 18, 2015
Thank you, monkeymom for the recipe. I am also interested a baking method; however, I will try both ways that's for sure. Erin, not sure what Gregg's issue is. It is hard to ignore meaness. Even harder for me to keep my mouth shut when I hear/read it. Thank you again, monkeymom for the recipe post.
Erin D. January 23, 2015
Boo Gregg
Gregg January 20, 2015
I guess the way this recipe should be described is that it is a great way to prepare chicken for an "on the go" dad. There is nothing new or exciting about it, so how
out of 3 million recipes on the internet did we pick this one?
Carla M. January 12, 2015
Was also wondering about baking instead of frying to cut down on the fat. Any thoughts as to how long it would take. 350/375 for 20 minutes??
bsturt September 25, 2014
This may be the only way I make chicken breasts from now one. So good! This is definitely a new fav recipe for me and my hubs.
Popscockles June 27, 2014
So good! My Japanese mother made us Tonkatsu a lot growing up; it seems sacrilege to throw the Parmesan cheese in -- but it is so, so good! And easy!
EmilyC June 18, 2014
Really enjoyed this last night for dinner -- and again for lunch today, with the chicken atop a spinach salad with strawberries, feta, almonds, and the leftover dressing. That dressing is really superb.
Rose S. June 5, 2014
Thanks, this was delicious! And so timely - I had chicken thawing in the fridge yesterday and no idea what to make for dinner... My 6 year old also loved it, with the dressing! (And I just ate the leftovers for lunch on top of an arugula salad.)
Don R. June 4, 2014
Where does the teaspoon of honey go? In the dressing?
arcane54 June 3, 2014
Congratulations on your win for this great summer chicken dish! We have a version called "Italian picnic chicken" that incorporates dried herbs in the panko coating. I love the addition of Parmesan to the crust and the dressing sounds delicious and so versatile!
monkeymom June 3, 2014
herbs sound awesome...I will have to try it next time around. :)
gingerroot June 3, 2014
Congrats on the wildcard mm!! We all love this recipe and this is a great reminder to make it again soon.
monkeymom June 3, 2014
Hi gingerroot! congrats on your recent win!
mrslarkin June 2, 2014
Congrats monkeymom! I love this recipe. I'm tempted to also try it with thin cut pork scallopini.
monkeymom June 3, 2014
Thanks mrsl! It is great with pork too! Love you!
monkeymom June 2, 2014
Thanks food52 for the wildcard! You really brightened up my day :) Love you guys.
fineartdaily January 15, 2012
Thanks, this is a good variation on one of our staples. Best Beloved chowed down, and we actually had all the ingredients, for once. We have a good butcher who provides really thin chicken scallopini, so I didn't have to pound the chicken. Hmmm. That is a step I normally enjoy. Must make a note to self...
monkeymom January 16, 2012
So glad you and your beloved liked it! The pounding is a part I do enjoy :)
nicci March 24, 2011
This was so delicious! Thank you for sharing. The Lemony-Parmesan dressing is amazing and we ended up drizzling it over everything we could think of the rest of the week.
monkeymom March 30, 2011
Thanks! So excited that you tried and like it!