Simple Fried Chicken Breast Cutlets

Simple Fried Chicken

The Spruce

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
516 Calories
25g Fat
27g Carbs
44g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 516
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 32%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 152mg 51%
Sodium 482mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 44g
Vitamin C 3mg 14%
Calcium 92mg 7%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 486mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Chicken cutlets are thin pieces of boneless chicken, either sliced from a thick breast or pounded thin. Fried chicken cutlets are a delicious main dish, a topping for pasta or salad, or a filling for a sandwich. Using thin cutlets makes a fast and easy dish that's ideal for a weeknight. 

Unless the boneless chicken breast halves are quite small, slice them horizontally to make cutlets. Two or three large chicken breast halves might be plenty for four servings. If your chicken breasts are quite small, use four and flatten them to an even thickness before cooking.

If desired, swap out the Cajun seasoning for a seasoning mix of your choice. Some tasty options include Greek spice mix, Italian seasoning, or a Mexican blend.

1:14

Click Play to See This Simple, Fried Chicken Breast Cutlets Recipe Come Together

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg

  • 3/4 cup milk

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons hot sauce (such as Frank's RedHot, Texas Pete, or Tabasco)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (or a similar blend), preferably salt free

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon if the Cajun seasoning contains salt)

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • Vegetable oil (canola, or peanut oil), for frying

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise (or 4 small chicken breasts), lightly flattened

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. 

    Ingredients for simple fried chicken cutlets
    The Spruce  
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg, milk, and hot sauce together.

    Egg, milk, and hot sauce whisked together in a bowl
    The Spruce
  3. In a wide, shallow bowl, combine the flour, Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper.

    Flour and seasoning combined in a bowl
    The Spruce
  4. In a large, heavy, deep skillet or Dutch oven, heat about 1 inch of oil to 350 F/180 C/Gas Mark 4. Preheat the oven to 200 F if you are not serving the chicken cutlets immediately or if you are doubling the recipe and are cooking in batches.

    Oil in a skillet
    The Spruce
  5. When the oil is hot, dip a chicken cutlet in the egg and milk mixture, coating both sides. Let excess drip off, then coat with the flour mixture. Carefully lower the coated chicken into the hot oil. Adjust the heat as needed if the oil gets too cold or hot. Repeat with the remaining pieces.

    Chicken dipped into egg mixture and then flour mixture
    The Spruce
  6. Fry the chicken for about 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until browned and cooked through.

    Fried chicken in a pan
    The Spruce 
  7. Drain the chicken on layers of paper towels or brown paper bags. Once the oil returns to temperature, repeat with the remaining cutlets.

    Chicken draining on paper towels
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  8. Serve immediately or transfer to a large baking sheet and keep warm in a 200 F oven or warming drawer. Enjoy.

    Finished fried chicken cutlets with mashed potatoes
    The Spruce

Tips

  • If you can't find thinly sliced chicken breast or cutlets, take a medium to large boneless chicken breast half and put it on a cutting board. Place a hand on the chicken to keep it from moving. With your other hand, using a sharp knife, carefully slice through the chicken lengthwise, keeping the knife parallel to the cutting board. You should now have two cutlets similar in size. Repeat with more chicken breast halves for more cutlets.
  • The chicken is cooked when it is browned and crispy on the outside and the meat inside is opaque throughout and the juices run clear.
  • This recipe could also be made with chicken tenders. Use about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds for four servings.
  • A high-heat oil like vegetable, canola, or peanut oil is best for frying chicken cutlets. Olive oil can be used since it has a relatively high smoke point, but extra-virgin olive oil is not recommended.
  • If you find that the flour doesn't stick well to the chicken, try letting the floured cutlets stand for 15 to 20 minutes at room temperature to allow some of the flour to be absorbed by the egg-milk coating underneath.

How Do You Keep Fried Chicken Cutlets Crispy?

To ensure that your chicken cutlets are crisp, make sure the oil is at the proper temperature before frying. Serve immediately or keep warm in the oven for a few minutes before serving.

What Is the Difference Between Chicken Cutlets and Chicken Tenders?

Chicken cutlets are thin slices of chicken breast, while chicken tenders are a separate piece of white meat. This recipe will work with either cutlets or tenders, just be sure to fry the tenders long enough that they are cooked all the way through.