Breaded Chicken Cutlets with Garlic and Oregano

Quick chicken meal from Cook’s Illustrated; the brining makes a big difference! Also, be sure to follow all the waiting times in the instructions, as they lead to crispy cutlets. You can change the seasonings in the egg wash for different flavors too.

Has Kim tried this? Yes

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/2 c kosher salt

1/2 c granulated sugar

5 – 8 slices high-quality white bread, crusts removed and torn into pieces

3/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour

2 large eggs

3 tbsp fresh oregano

8 medium cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbsp vegetable oil

3/4 c vegetable oil

  1. Pound chicken breasts to even 1/2 inch thickness. Dissolve salt and sugar in 1 quart cold water in gallon Ziplock bag. Add cutlets and seal bag, pressing out as much air as possible; refrigerate 30 minutes. Line rimmed baking sheet with triple layer of paper towels.
  2. Remove cutlets and lay in single layer on baking sheet. Cover with another triple layer of paper towels and press firmly to absorb moisture. Allow cutlets to dry for 10 minutes. Process bread in food processor 20 – 30 seconds. Transfer crumbs to baking dish. Carefully peel paper towels off cutlets, sprinkle cutlets with pepper and set aside.
  3. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and set large heatproof plate on rack. Heat oven to 200 degrees. Spread flour in baking dish. Beat eggs, oregano, and garlic with 1 tbsp oil in second baking dish. Spread bread crumbs in third baking dish.
  4. Bread the cutlets, one at a time. Dredge cutlet in flour, shaking off excess. Using tongs, dip both sides of cutlet in egg mixture, allowing excess to drip back into baking dish to ensure very thin coating. Dip both sides of cutlet in bread crumbs, pressing crumbs with fingers to form even, cohesive coat. Place breaded cutlets in single layer on wire rack set over baking sheet and allow coating to dry for about 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat 6 tbsp remaining oil in heavy-bottomed 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes. Lay two cutlets gently in skillet; cook until deep golden brown and crisp on first side, gently pressing down on cutlets with wide metal spatula to help ensure even browning, about 2 1/2 minutes. Using tongs, flip cutlets, reduce heat to medium, and continue to cook until meat feels firm when pressed gently and second side is deep golden brown and crisp, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes longer. Line warmed plate with double layer of paper towels and set cutlets on top. Return plate to oven.
  6. Discard oil in skillet and wipe skillet clean using tongs and large wad of paper towels. Repeat previous step using remaining 6 tbsp of oil and now-clean skillet to cook remaining cutlets.
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