I love fried foods as much as everyone else, but lately I am just burned out on fried chicken strips and nuggets. Maybe it’s the fact that they are a daily staple of my kids’ diets or maybe it’s because my wife is Italian and it seems to be a staple at every big family “sauce cooked all day” dinner (sorry Honey). Whatever the origins of my fried chicken fatigue, I just need a break from the heavy breading and grease. Well, I have recently been cooking an alternative that still gives me that satisfying crunch, but much lighter. We recently did some breaded and grilled pork chops, so I wanted to carry that over to chicken to see if my kids liked this alternative to fried chicken strips. So far, it’s been a hit around the house. The key is to pound down the chicken so that it cooks quickly, so that the breadcrumbs don’t have a chance to burn. This is a great, quick recipe for any night of the week and thanks to those bags of frozen chicken breasts, they can usually be made without a special trip to the store. Let’s get right to this really simple recipe.
Chicken Breast Recipe
- 4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons Olive oil
- Light the grill and heat to medium heat.
- Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board and cover with a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap (or put them in a resealable bag).
- Using a flat, blunt object like a pan or meat tenderizer, take out your frustrations on the chicken breast and pound them down to about 1/2 inch thick. To me, the thinner the better. By the way, my son loves to help with this part, so get the kids involved with dinner!
- Pour the enough breadcrumbs into a shallow bowl to cover the bottom.
- Coat each chicken breast with Olive oil and then press into the bowl of breadcrumbs.
- Thoroughly cover the chicken breasts with the breadcrumbs, pushing the chicken down into the bowl to ensure the crumbs stick to the chicken.
- Place the chicken cutlets on the grill and grill with the lid closed for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Check the chicken. The breasts are pounded thin, so you should be able to see the chicken turning opaque on the edges as the chicken cooks through. If they look to be cooked on the first side and the breadcrumbs are golden brown, you are ready to flip them. If not, crank up the heat to medium-high, close the lid and give them a few more minutes.
- Flip the breasts over, close the lid and grill for another 4 - 5 minutes on the second side.
- The chicken cutlets are done when the meat is firm and the breadcrumbs are golden brown on both sides. To check the doneness of the cutlets, pick them up with tongs and they shouldn't bend under their own weight like they did when they were raw.
- Remove from the grill, serve and enjoy!
Have these chicken cutlets replaced the fried variety at our Italian family dinners? Heck no, they won’t let me cook because I am not Italian. That’s ok though, the kids love them at home and they are a great alternative to their usual fried chicken tenders.