This recipe for fried chicken cutlets is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. It results in a family-pleasing enteree that is quick and easy, perfect for any day of the week. If you love cheese then this is the recipe for you, it is cheese on cheese goodness for the coating. The key is a swap out of using almond flour and parmesan cheese in place of traditional bread crumbs for the fried chicken coating. That simple change in making chicken cutlets without traditional breading keeps this recipe grain-free, gluten-free, and keto-friendly - triple winner chicken dinner!
I often call these "adult chicken nuggets"! (I have actually made these into small nuggets before, take longer to cut and prep but kids love them!) If you want GRAIN-FREE FRIED CHICKEN NUGGETS, give those a try too. Both recipes are easy to assemble, fry up quick, and the ingredients are often already in your refrigerator and pantry. No better way to make poultry and enjoy Italian breaded chicken cutlets that are low-carb, keto, and gluten-free.
Ingredients for Making Homemade Chicken Cutlets
This recipe doesn't need many ingredients and it starts with super fine ground almond flour. If you have never used this before, make sure it is super fine and not an almond meal. Almond meal is coarse and will not stick to the chicken as well. It tends to fall off as it cooks and your oil will be very messy and the almond meal may start to burn in the pan. (I realize not everyone has almond flour but this can be made with regular flour. I tend to keep things gluten-free.)
The recipe also requires:
- chicken breasts
- 2 eggs
- garlic powder
- salt & pepper
- parmesan cheese *
I make this recipe with two forms of parmesan cheese. I have tried this with each and a combination of both works best. The finely grated parmesan helps coat and adhere to the chicken along with the almond flour to make the "breading" that helps seal the chicken and keep it moist. The freshly grated parmesan from the block adds a deeper nutty parmesan flavor plus a texture that helps make this crispy. Use both, it will be worth it and the cheese flavors really come through.
Pound Chicken Breasts Thin (*thighs can be used)
I make this recipe with chicken breasts as traditional chicken cutlets require. I find the organic ones I buy at Costco are very thick. The packs usually contain 2-3 breasts that I cut horizontally to make thinner. I then pound them out between two pieces of waxed paper with my meat mallet/tenderizer. If you like chicken thighs instead, as many of my friends do, you can use boneless chicken thighs and pound thin as well.
Why pound this out thin?
- Ensures even cooking
- Keeps the cooking time fast to get the inside to the right temperature without a chance of the coating (especially the cheeses) from burning
- Helps tenderize the meat
2-Step Coating Prep & Frying for Chicken Cutlets
Whisk the two eggs in a shallow dish or pie tin. In a second shallow dish or pie tin, combine the cheeses, almond flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix to combine evenly. Dip each chicken cutlet in the egg and coat both sides. Dredge chicken in the coating mixture and coat evenly. Press down if needed to ensure coating adheres to the chicken cutlets.
These breast cutlets will be pan fried on the stove in a shallow amount of cooking oil. In a cast-iron pan add the olive oil and bring to medium heat. Drop a few sprinkles of the coating mix into the olive oil to test that it is high enough for frying. If it begins to sizzle and bubble, the oil is ready. Gently place each cutlet in the oil. Cook for 5-6 minutes on each side. They should come away from the pan easily and NOT stick when they are crispy and ready to be flipped. Once both sides are golden brown and internal temperature is 165°, they are ready to be placed on a paper towel-lined plate to rest while the remaining cutlets are cooked.
These chicken cutlets can be baked in the oven too if that is what you want to do. I would bake them at 400° until a meat thermometer registers 165° internal temperature.
Serve with Lemon
Lemon wedges are a perfect accompaniment to these chicken cutlets. Squeeze the lemon juice evenly over the chicken just before eating to bring a punch of acid and brightness to the crispy cutlet. It really helps balance the fat and the saltiness of the cheese.
The last time I made these, we enjoyed them with my Antipasto Rice Salad. Rice paired with antipasto ingredients like salami, mozzarella, and olives are mixed with Italian dressing for a wonderful gluten-free salad alternative to pasta salad. You can find this amazing side salad here - https://theshortordercook.com/antipasto-rice-salad/
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What to Serve with Chicken Cutlets:
Crispy Parmesan Chicken Cutlets
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts 3 thick breasts
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt & pepper
- ¾ C grated parmesan cheese
- ¾ C fresh shredded parmesan cheese
- ½ C fine ground almond flour
- 2 eggs
- 6 tablespoon olive oil
- lemon wedges
- Place the chicken breasts out on a cutting board and cut in half horizontally. Place each cutlet between waxed sheet papers and using a meat mallet, pound thin and make sure the cutlets remain even thickness. This will ensure even cooking.
- Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Set to the side.
- Combine the 2 kinds of parmesan cheese, almond flour, garlic powder, plus additional salt and pepper in a shallow bowl or pie tin. In another bowl or pie tin, whisk the eggs.
- Dip the chicken breasts into the eggs then into the parmesan mixture. Coat both sides evenly and shake off any excess. As you coat each side, press down lightly with the palm of your hand to help the coating stick to each side. Repeat with each chicken cutlet.
- Heat oil in a large heavy-duty pan to medium heat. Add 3 chicken cutlets at a time and in a single layer. Cook for 5-6 minutes on each side, until golden and crispy. Do not flip too early or the coating will not be ready and likely fall from the cutlet. The parmesan coating should be golden on each side to be ready. Place on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Repeat with remaining chicken cutlets. Cutlets should be crispy on the outside and 165° inside when checking with a thermometer.
- Great served with lemon wedges to squeeze fresh lemon juice on top when plated.
- ** Chicken thighs can be substituted and will take a different cooking time. Always check for the chicken to reach 165°.
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 34.2g||44%|
|Saturated Fat 12.1g||60%|
|Total Carbohydrate 3g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber 0.3g||1%|
|Total Sugars 0.2g|
|Vitamin D 5mcg||26%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
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