Italian style Crispy Chicken Cutlets are amazing on their own but once drizzled with a little of my lemon garlic dressing, they are taken over the top!
Thin slices of chicken are dredged in flour, dipped in egg and coated in seasoned breadcrumbs and then pan fried. Because the chicken is sliced so thin, they cook up in minutes!
Easy to make and super versatile, I'm a firm believer that this is one of those recipes everyone should learn how to make.
Is a fried chicken cutlet the same as chicken milanese?
According to online dictionaries the meaning of "milanese" is fried meat that is pounded thin, dredged in flour, egg and breadcrumbs and fried. So the answer is. But, I grew up just calling them chicken cutlets so that's what they are to me.
If you are thinking this lemon garlic dressing sounds familiar, you'd be right. I use it for a lot of things like my favorite summer pasta salad - Lemon Garlic Pasta Salad.
A complete list of ingredients is located in the printable recipe card below. I've only mentioned the few ingredients that I thought might have some helpful notes here.
- Chicken - Boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half crosswise and pounded out thin. Alternatively, you can buy chicken that is already prepped for cutlets.
- Breadcrumbs - Dry Italian seasoned is my go to but you can use whole wheat or panko or a mix of panko and Italian.
- Flour - All-purpose
- Lemon - You'll want to use fresh lemon as we are using both the zest and the juice.
Full and detailed instructions are located in the printable recipe card. This is a quick overview with photos.
Start by creating a breading station of three shallow bowls. One bowl for flour, one for eggs and one for breadcrumbs.
The chicken will get coated in the flour first, next in the egg and finally in the breadcrumb mixture.
Set aside the breaded chicken while you whisk together the dressing ingredients.
Create a breading station with three shallow bowls. One for eggs, one for flour and one for breadcrumbs (and seasonings).
Dip the chicken first in the flour, next in the egg and finally coat in the crumbs.
Set the breaded chicken aside.
Whisk together all the dressing ingredients.
Arrange fried crispy chicken cutlets on top of the greens.
Drizzle the dressing over the top or serve the dressing on the side and allow each person to drizzle their desired amount of dressing on the chicken.
Place greens on a plate. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little of the dressing.
Hint: The reason I prepare the dressing after the chicken is breaded is because letting the chicken sit will help the coating adhere to the chicken.
I love this easy Italian chicken dinner as is but there are a few things you can change up to make it perfect for your tastes and needs.
- Meat - swap out chicken for pork, veal or even turkey.
- Spices - use oregano in place of thyme if that's your preference.
- Greens - spring salad mix or any leafy greens you choose work well, or skip them altogether
The secret to getting the chicken super crispy is not crowd the pan. If a pan is crowded with chicken, it will steam. You may need to cook in batches.
If your chicken hasn't been pounded out to a thin cutlet and isn't cooked through after browned and crisped on both sides, pop it in the oven at 350 F to finish cooking.
The most common reasons for the chicken not getting crispy is that the oil isn't hot enough when the chicken is added (it should sizzle) and overcrowding in the pan.
Dredging in flour helps everything else adhere to the chicken. If the flour were omitted, the egg and breadcrumb would simply not stick. Think of the flour as the glue.
Looking for more breaded recipes? Try a few of these.
I like to serve these Crispy Chicken Culets over arugula salad topped with the lemon garlic dressing as the entire meal. However, if you are not into the greens, you could serve the chicken with some of these ideas:
Printable Recipe Card
Crispy Chicken Cutlet with Lemon Garlic Dressing
- 1 pound thin cut boneless chicken breasts
- 1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- 2 whole eggs beaten
- ¼ cup olive oil or avocado oil
- 6 ounces mixed greens arugula and spinach
For the Dressing
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon zest of lemon
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon dry thyme
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste.
For the Chicken
- Set up a breading station by placing flour that has been seasoned with salt and pepper in a shallow bowl, beaten eggs in another and breadcrumbs in a third.
- Dip the chicken pieces in flour, then egg and lastly the breadcrumbs. Once all the chicken is coated, set aside and prepare dressing.
- Heat olive oil over medium/high heat. Add breaded chicken and cook 4-5 minutes, until browned. Flip over and cook until the other side is browned and chicken is cooked through. Be careful not to overcrowd pan and cook in batches if necessary.
For the Dressing
- Whisk together all ingredients
- Arrange greens on a serving plate and lightly drizzle with dressing. Place chicken cutlet on top of greens. Drizzle dressing over chicken. Alternatively, you can serve the dressing on the side. Serve immediately.
I know most people know this food safety info but I do like sharing it as a reminder because sometimes we forget.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
You can always find more food safety information at FoodSafety.gov