Traditionally, chicken or eggplant parmesan is a thin slice of chicken (a cutlet) or eggplant that has been breaded, pan fried and then layered with sauce and cheese. I do not recall when, but at some time in the past, either my mother or sister introduced me to oven baked chicken cutlets. It was only then did I discover the joy and versatility of baked breaded chicken cutlets.
- 3+ Lbs. of boneless and skinless Chicken Breasts (about 5 breasts) – should make 15 cutlets
- 3 Cups of Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
- 1/2 Cup of Grated Italian (Parmesan or Romano) Cheese
- 3-4 Eggs
- 1 TBSP of Ground Black Pepper (can use less)
- Olive Oil
- 2 or more Baking Pans
- Parchment Paper or Aluminum Foil
- Sharp Heavy Knife
- Large Cutting Board
- 2 Deep Pie Dishes / Pyrex Wide Casserole Dishes
- 3 Forks
- With the knife, trim off any excess fat and rib meat from the chicken breast. If you are so inclined, separate the chicken fat from the trimmed meat, saving both in freezer bags for future use (soup and stock).
- Place the chicken breast flat on the cutting board. With the knife parallel to the cutting board you want to slice the chicken breast into three cutlets of equal thickness. If they are not of the same thickness and look a little ragged that is fine. They will also not be of the same size for the chicken breast is not a perfect cube of meat.
- Crack the eggs into one of the large dishes, completely beating the eggs as if you were making scrambled eggs.
- Place the bread crumbs, grated cheese and black pepper and mix all ingredients into the second large deep dish.
- With a fork place a cutlet in the egg wash ensuring that all surfaces are coated with the egg wash. The dish should be large enough so that two or three cutlets can be soaking in the egg wash at any one time.
- With the fork remove the covered cutlet from the egg wash and place on top of the breading mixture. Pat the cutlet firmly down with the first fork.
- Then with the second fork, scoop the breading mixture around the sides and top of the cutlet pressing down on the breading so that it sticks to the egg wash. Once complete, stab the cutlet with the fork, flip the cutlet over and repeat the same steps. This will ensure equal coverage of breading over the cutlet.
- Place the breaded cutlet on the parchment paper (or aluminum foil) and repeat the process until two baking sheets are full of breaded cutlets. When placing the cutlets on the baking sheet, there needs to be at a minimum of a small gap between each cutlet. Typically you will be able to place 5 – 7 cutlets on each baking sheet.
- Turn on the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and preheat.
- With the olive oil you want to drizzle a small amount of the oil onto each breaded cutlet.
- Place the baking sheets into the oven and set the kitchen timer for 10 minutes. While this first batch of cutlets are baking, you can begin on the second batch of breading the cutlets if you have more baking sheets to utilize.
- When the timer goes off, take the baking sheets out of the oven and with the third fork flip each cutlet over.
- Drizzle more olive oil onto the cutlet and place the baking pans back in the oven.
- Set the timer for another 10 minutes.
- Once the second 10 minutes of baking has finished, take the baking pans out of the oven and let the chicken cool.
- Repeat Steps: 8-15 for the second batch of cutlets that you have prepared.
Uses for the breaded chicken cutlets: