Meal Plan

Cereal Chicken Cutlets With Kid-Approved Kale Salad

October  4, 2022
1 Ratings
Photo by MJ Kroeger. Prop Stylist: Molly Fitzsimons. Food Stylist: Lauren Lapenna.
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 4 for dinner, plus 4 sandwiches for tomorrow
Author Notes

This recipe delights both discerning adults and pint-sized picky eaters. The chicken cutlets—crusted in, of all things, potato chips and puffed rice cereal (or even cornflakes)—deliver on both taste and texture, especially when combined with seemingly unsung pantry ingredients. Dried oregano and garlic powder sharpen buttery mayo. Lemon zest brings lots of zing. And a generous amount of salt and coarsely ground pepper reliably amplify all the other ingredients. The salad does not disappoint either. Sturdy kale with pepitas and dried apricots can be pocketed into pitas (or even wrapped in soft tortillas), along with the star protein, to give you a massive lunch win the next day. And because the sandwiches take mere minutes to assemble, this lunch remix is best made the morning of, giving you a quick, joyous meal—one that is both thrown together and put together, too. —Brigid Ransome Washington

Test Kitchen Notes

Brigid—a professionally trained chef and cookbook author—realized while chasing her kids down the street one morning, waving a frantically thrown-together lunch bag, that if she was tired of the hustle, other parents must be, too. So she started making dinner for tonight and lunch for tomorrow at the same time, using most of the same ingredients—but with a twist even adults will dig. It’s better than leftovers. It saves time, energy, and dishwashing. It’s your new best friend. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (from 2 large lemons)
  • 4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 pounds total), halved horizontally, patted dry
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 cup puffed rice cereal, lightly crushed
  • 1/2 cup plain potato chips (such as Lay’s Classic), crushed into cereal-sized pieces
  • 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2 large lemons)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons honey
  • 2 bunches Tuscan kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup toasted pepitas
  • 1 cup (about 15) dried apricots
  • Shaved Parmesan, for serving
  • 4 pita pockets, for tomorrow's sandwiches
  1. Heat the oven to 400°F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, lemon zest, oregano, and garlic powder. Add the chicken to a sheet pan and season both sides with 2 teaspoons of salt and a ½ teaspoon of black pepper. Using a pastry brush, smear the mayo mixture all over the chicken. Now using your hands, press the cereal and potato chips onto the top of the chicken. Bake uncovered for 17 to 20 minutes, until cooked through.
  3. While the chicken is baking, make the salad: In a large bowl, whisk the lemon juice, ½ cup of olive oil, honey, the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. To this dressing, add all the kale leaves. Using your hands, toss the kale with the dressing, firmly massaging the leaves. Continue this until the kale is very soft, 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Add the pepitas and dried apricot rounds, and garnish with shaved Parm.
  4. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. For dinner, divide half the chicken and half the kale salad among 4 plates. For lunch the next day, tuck chicken cutlet slices (about half a breast per sandwich) and salad into a pita pocket; serve at room temperature.

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