Crispy and salty on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside—there’s nothing not to love about these chicken cutlets from cookbook author, recipe developer, and food stylist, Samantha Seneviratne. The secret? Well, actually, there are a couple. For starters, you’ll want to slice the chicken neatly in half on the horizontal with a super-sharp knife. Another trick: Instead of the classic three-step breading procedure, make a wet batter with flour and egg (this helps the panko bread crumbs stick better and creates an extra-crunchy crust). A lemony avocado relish and some garlicky greens make the perfect bright-and-tangy topping.
This recipe is shared in partnership with Shun Cutlery. —The Editors
tender herbs, finely chopped (think: parsley, cilantro, and chives)
avocado, peeled and diced
red pepper flakes, optional
olive oil, divided, plus more for frying
Freshly ground pepper
large clove garlic, finely chopped
Dijon mustard, divided
large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 pounds)
Prepare the relish: Using a sharp paring knife, cut the top and bottom off of the lemon and discard. Set the lemon upright on a work surface. Use the knife to cut the skin and pith off of the lemon from top to bottom. Then cut each segment out of the remaining pith. Chop the lemon flesh into small pieces and transfer to a small bowl. Squeeze the remaining pith to release the juice into a separate, large bowl. You should have about 2 tablespoons lemon juice.
Add the herbs, capers, avocado, and red pepper flakes to the lemon flesh and gently toss to combine. Stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season to taste with salt.
Prepare the greens: Sprinkle some salt over the garlic on a cutting board. Run a chef’s knife at a 45° angle over the garlic mixture, working it back and forth to create a paste. Add the garlic paste to the lemon juice and whisk in 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the arugula and toss to combine. Set aside.
Prepare the chicken: Use a chef’s knife to slice the chicken breasts horizontally to make 4 even pieces. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2 teaspoon Dijon, eggs, flour, and water, and season with salt and pepper. Set the panko on a plate. Dip a piece of chicken into the egg mixture to coat completely, then coat it completely in panko. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
Heat about 1/2-inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, cook the chicken until golden brown all over and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. You may have to cook the chicken in batches. Serve the chicken over the arugula topped with the relish.