Ranch Chicken Cutlets

March 10, 2021
1 Rating
Photo by Rocky Luten. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog.
Author Notes

Ranch was dreamed up in the 1950s as a dressing—but in this recipe, it’s a marinade. And oh, what a marinade. I don’t need to tell you that buttermilk metamorphosizes chicken, tenderizing the meat, bolstering its confidence. And indeed, if you’ve ever tried Samin Nosrat’s famous roast chicken from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, you know that buttermilk and salt do wonders all on their own. Adding savory, tingly, ranch-y ingredients takes something great and makes it even greater. Don’t be intimidated by the longish lists below—the brine and bread crumbs take advantage of the same pantry staples, like garlic powder, onion powder, dried dill, and dried chives. Hot sauce punches up the marinade, while nutritional yeast yields cheesier crumbs, a trick I learned from Sohla El-Waylly’s Genius Ranch Fun Dip. Still warm, these crispy chicken cutlets are wonderful with any salad, or sandwiched inside a squishy bun, or served next to a mountain of cabbage slaw. If you’re an overachiever, you can even whip up this Miso Ranch Dressing for dunking. Why not? Sometimes more is more. —Emma Laperruque

  • Prep time 6 hours 15 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 2
  • Buttermilk-brined chicken
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon dried chives
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound), halved horizontally and pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
  • Bread crumbs and frying
  • 1 cup panko
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill weed
  • 1 tablespoon dried chives
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Neutral oil, for panfrying
In This Recipe
  1. To make the brine, add the salt, garlic powder, onion powder, dill, chives, and hot sauce to the liquid measuring cup with the buttermilk. Stir, then add to a container or zip-top bag. Now add the chicken and make sure it’s completely covered. Refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, make the bread crumbs by stirring together everything but the oil. Store in an airtight container until you’re ready to cook.
  3. When the chicken is done brining, transfer the seasoned bread crumbs to a shallow bowl or pie plate. Remove the chicken pieces from the buttermilk mixture and use your fingers to squeegee away any excess liquid. Individually dredge the chicken pieces in the crumbs, pressing firmly to coat.
  4. Set a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom—about 1/8 inch high, roughly halfway up each chicken cutlet. When a crumb dropped in the oil instantly sizzles, add the chicken. Cook in batches, if needed; if you overcrowd the pieces, they won’t brown properly. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side, until the chicken is deeply golden brown all over and cooked through.
  5. Transfer to a wire rack to drain, dabbing with paper towels if needed. Serve hot. These are excellent with a salad, especially one dressed with even more ranch.

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Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles on the fly, baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., and writing about the history of pie in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's award-winning column, Big Little Recipes (also the cookbook in October 2021!). And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

1 Review

Nina March 12, 2021
Fantastic recipe! I am normally intimidated by fried chicken recipes but the boneless cutlets are easier to fry and the results are so good.