This was not only my favorite chicken when I was growing up, but it was also the favorite of my siblings, and later, my own children. The recipe is the same whether you call it chicken cutlets, chicken nuggets, or chicken strips - the only difference is how you cut the chicken.
The recipe is pretty flexible - you can completely omit the grated cheese (my mother never used it), but I like my bread crumb mixture to contain up to 1/2 cheese - I think it adds wonderful flavor. I also like to cook my chicken in extra virgin olive oil, despite reports to the contrary, it adds amazing flavor. Lastly, I finish the chicken with a heavy squeeze of fresh lemon juice - again, adding amazing flavor. Honestly, I wouldn't bother making it if I didn't have fresh lemons on hand.
Cut chicken into desired shape.
Prepare crumb mixture by adding up to 1/2 grated parmesan or romano cheese, or if you're like my mother, just use straight up Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. don't even think about using plain breadcrumbs.
If adding cheese to the breadcrumbs, mix them well.
Beat the eggs in a bowl.
Dip the chicken pieces in the egg, being careful to coat completely before allowing excess egg to drip back into the bowl.
Place egg coated chicken into the breadcrumb mixture, coating completely.
Preheat oil in a skillet or shallow pan until it begins to shimmer.
Fry chicken until golden brown on one side, then flip and repeat. remove from oil when cooked through and immediately sprinkle with a little kosher salt.
Serve with plenty of fresh lemon wedges.
Chicken Cutlets, Nuggets, or Strips
makes 4 servings
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into nuggets, strips, or cutlets
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup mixture of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs and grated parmesan or romano cheese (see note above about ratio)
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt to taste
- 2 large lemons, sliced into wedges
- Cut chicken into desired shape.
- In a shallow bowl, beat eggs well.
- In a separate bowl, combine breadcrumbs and grated cheese if using.
- Dip chicken into beaten egg, followed by breadcrumb mixture.
- In a large skillet, heat oil until shimmering.
- Fry chicken in oil until golden brown on both sides; drain chicken on paper towels and immediately sprinkle with kosher salt to taste.
- Serve with plenty of freshly squeezed lemon juice.