Not normally a fan of breaded and fried, I was still eager to try this Breaded Chicken Cutlets with Orange Salsa meal because the topping sounded delicious, and you only use a minimum amount of oil to “fry” the meat.
I know many of you can’t resist a crisp fried cutlet. You’ll enjoy that both the meat and the breading are infused with the delicate flavors of orange and thyme, while the fruity, colorful salsa complements the rich crust. (If you prefer, you can substitute veal or pork cutlets for the chicken.)
Ten minutes just didn’t seem long enough in which to marinate the chicken in fresh orange juice, so I took it a step further and let them get happy in the ziploc for a full hour. On the other hand, two full cups of panko (gluten-free in our case) seemed excessive so I pared it down to about 2/3 cup while retaining the amount of orange zest and thyme. Spot on!
Concensus was—VERY good! I only made two cutlets for us but did not cut back on the salsa ingredients. And due to the fact that our chicken pieces were on the large size, after flipping them in the skillet and letting the other side brown a few minutes, I covered the pan with a lid for several more minutes to make sure they were cooked through, resulting in very tender and juicy chicken.
Served with a side of steamed broccolini, we enjoyed a low-carb, colorful and tasty meal.
Breaded Chicken Cutlets with Orange Salsa
- 2 cups dried breadcrumbs, such as panko
- 2 oranges (about 9 oz. each)
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 thin-cut chicken breast cutlets (about 1 lb.)
- 1 medium tomato, cored and cut into medium dice (about 1 cup)
- 2 Tbs. finely chopped red onion
- 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh cilantro; more to taste
- 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1-1/2 tsp. fresh lime juice; more to taste
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil; more as needed
- Put the breadcrumbs in a wide shallow bowl or rimmed plate. Using a rasp-style grater, finely zest the oranges into the breadcrumbs.
- Add the thyme, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper, and toss to combine, breaking up any clumps of zest.
- Squeeze the juice of one of the oranges into a wide bowl or large zip-top bag. Add the cutlets, turn to coat if necessary, and marinate for (at least) 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, segment the remaining orange as directed, cut the segments into a few pieces, and toss with the tomato, onion, and cilantro.
- Add the olive oil, lime juice, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Toss and season to taste with more cilantro, salt, and pepper.
- Crack the egg in another wide shallow bowl and beat lightly. Put the flour on a rimmed plate and season with 1/2 tsp. salt and a healthy grind of black pepper.
- Lift a cutlet from the juice and shake off the excess liquid. Dip it first in the flour, coating both sides well and shaking off any excess flour. Then dip in the egg, letting the excess run back into the bowl, then into the breadcrumbs, making sure both sides are well coated.
- In a 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until the oil erupts into lots of bubbles when you dip in a corner of a cutlet. Fry the cutlets, in batches if necessary, flipping once, adding more oil and adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a steady bubbling action, until cooked through and golden brown on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes per side.
- Serve topped with some of the salsa.
Adapted from recipe by