Italian food and cooking is simple. With good ingredients, even a simple fried chicken cutlet can taste extraordinary. The secret to the best chicken cutlets are 1) very thinly sliced pieces of chicken breast and 2) high quality breadcrumbs. Homemade breadcrumbs are second only to the breadcrumbs that come from the bread bakeries in Little Italy in the Bronx.
Here's our shopping list and the recipe for making chicken cutlets or cotolette Milanese at home:
Makes 6 servings
1 cup breadcrumbs from Addeo's, Madonia or Terranova
1/4 cup grated Locatelli cheese
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1 pound boneless chicken breasts. Ask the butchers at Vincent's Meat Market to slice them extra thin.
1/4 cup Francescani olive oil available only at Teitel Brothers.
Stir the breadcrumbs, cheese, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper together in a shallow bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs well with a fork.
With a fork or tongs, dredge the chicken in the beaten egg, then transfer to the breadcrumb bowl to coat evenly.
In a heavy skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat, then add the breaded cutlets—don’t crowd the pan, fry in batches. Cook approximately 4 minutes per side, turning when the cutlets are crispy and golden brown.
Drain on a paper towel-lined plate before serving.