Easy Parmesan Crusted Chicken Cutlet Recipe
Extra crispy, tender and juicy, this Easy Parmesan Crusted Chicken Cutlet recipe is quick and simple. Coated in a mixture of herbs, spices and lots of parmesan cheese, this chicken dinner is a family favorite that can be adapted sooo many different ways!
Originally published on September 7, 2017 and updated on June 30, 2019.
When I was teaching myself how to cook in my early 20’s I was always searching for the easiest thing I could find to morph into something else. Like a base of sorts. Something that I knew I could make perfectly every single time without breaking a sweat and then turning it into like 47 different recipes.
I was broke, pretty much, all the time and had to make my food stretch quite a long while. So I would go to Costco and buy chicken breasts in bulk because they were individually wrapped making it easier to just pull out one or two without committing to a bunch of chicken all at once.
It was just me and half a person, basically and…to be perfectly honest, Katie was living on frozen Kid Cuisine meals most of the week.
That’s when I “created” this easy Parmesan Crusted Chicken Cutlet recipe…I use the term “created” loosely here since I’m not claiming to have invented the chicken cutlet at all. This version is the best I ever had….and my husband agrees. And he’s the harshest food critic I ever met.
But back to my invention/creation/reinvented Parmesan Crusted Chicken Cutlet recipe. Since I always had chicken on hand I ate it several times a week and, if you eat chicken several times a week you start to get really sick of it.
I decided one day I wanted to make one of those chicken patty sandwiches that they used to serve in elementary school but since I was broke….and already had chicken, I thought I’d take a stab at making my own from scratch. The first go round was a total failure.
The coating was burning (heat was too high) and then it was sliding off (too much “adhesive”). AND the chicken wasn’t nearly even cooked through before the whole burning and sliding started to happen.
So, I cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise because I lived on the second floor and had a cranky neighbor downstairs….if I had done what I really wanted and pounded the chicken thin right on the countertop, I may have been evicted. Because of chicken.
You can cut them in half or pound them thin (which will make the surface area much larger), it’s entirely up to your. But either way, the thinner cutlets definitely solved the doneness issue.
AND I didn’t give up….I kept at it until it occurred to me that cheese was the missing piece of this crispy chicken and so I tossed it right into the breadcrumbs. And I added another step to the dredge….flour….but spiced up with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
And milk…..also seasoned with a dash of garlic powder, salt and pepper. Seasoning every step of the dredge took the chicken from bland to insanely, addictingly, mouthwatering.
THEN I fried them in a little bit of oil until golden brown and cooked through. Absolute perfection and so easy…that I now make big batches (keeping them warm in the oven until I’m done frying) for parties or entertaining.
How to Make Parmesan Crusted Chicken
This easy Parmesan Crusted Chicken recipe comes together quickly and is fairly fool-proof if you follow these key steps.
- Either pound your chicken until 1/4 inch thickness or cut in half lengthwise to reduce the cooking time and ensure your chicken cooks evenly.
- Create a dredging statin with three separate shallow bowls filled with seasoned flour, seasoned milk and parmesan panko breadcrumbs.
- Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture and shake to remove the excess.
- Give the chicken a quick dip in the milk mixture to coat and then in the panko mixture pressing down to help the breadcrumbs stick to the chicken.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet and place the chicken in the skillet to cook.
- Cook the chicken until crispy and golden, approximately 4-5 minutes, then flip to continue cooking on the other side.
- Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve immediately.
What is the order of breading chicken?
The sequence of dredging chicken is important to the success of this recipe. To ensure crispy, perfect Parmesan Crusted Chicken be sure to dredge your chicken cutlets first in flour, then milk or egg and then panko breadcrumbs before frying in the pan.
Why is the breading falling off my chicken?
To avoid the dreaded bare chicken where the breading just slides right off (I’ve been there and it’s not pretty), be sure to follow these tips to avoid naked chicken cutlets.
- Pat your chicken dry with a paper towel. Excess moisture on the chicken breast will keep the flour from adhering to the surface of the chicken and will cause the whole coating to slide off.
- Be extra diligent in shaking off excess flour. Too much flour will keep the milk (or egg) mixture from sticking to the chicken which will cause the breadcrumb coating to fall off, as well. Shake, shake, shake.
- Don’t be skimpy on the breadcrumb coating and be sure to press down to help it stick to the chicken. Also, make sure to coat the entire surface of the chicken thoroughly.
- Don’t play with your food….once you place that chicken in the frying pan, leave it alone. Let the breading have a chance to form a crispy crust and it will release itself from the pan. If you try to flip your chicken too soon, you’ll definitely lose that beautiful breading.
How to Reheat Pan Fried Parmesan Crusted Chicken
If you’re like me, you’ll want to make a big batch of these easy Parmesan Crusted Chicken for your weekly meal prep. It’s easy to reheat your chicken cutlets in the oven when you’re ready to eat.
Here’s how to reheat your Parmesan Chicken Cutlets:
- Allow your chicken to come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil and arrange the chicken on the baking sheet in a single layer.
- Bake the chicken for 20 minutes or until it has crisped up again.
- Serve immediately.
And believe me, you’ll be seeing them again and again (Like with this Mushroom Farro Risotto because…just check it out)….but we also like to have them dipped in ketchup….just as they are….with a big, giant pile of mashed potatoes and green beans.
Get the Recipe: Easy Parmesan Crusted Chicken Cutlet Recipe
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in half horizontally
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 1/2 cups low fat milk
- 1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
- 3/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- In a shallow bowl or baking dish, whisk together the flour, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, Italian seasoning, 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt and 1/4 tablespoon pepper to combine. Set aside.
- In a separate shallow bowl, whisk the milk with the remaining garlic powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a third shallow bowl, whisk together the bread crumbs and cheese to combine. Set aside.
- Dredge 1 chicken breast half in the flour to coat, shaking off the excess. Dredge the chicken in the milk and then the breadcrumb mixture pressing the breadcrumbs into the surface of the chicken to help it stick. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until shimmering.
- Add the chicken to the skillet being sure not to crowd the pan. You may need to do it in batches of two chicken breast halves at a time.
- Cook the chicken until crispy and golden brown, approximately 4-5 minutes. When the chicken releases easily from the pan and is golden, flip it over and continue cooking on the other side until crispy.
- Repeat with the remaining chicken.
- Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately or use in your favorite crispy chicken recipe.