After spending the day with Nana, I remember chicken cutlets, or Italian fried chicken, as one of her go-to meals. These days, I can understand why. This is a quick and easy meal, and almost everybody likes fried chicken. Even the kids like it. Come to think of it, that’s probably why my cousins and I have such fond memories of when Nana made this chicken dish.
One of my fondest memories with Nana is one yeah when she took me to a play at the Spring Mountain Ranch. I had regularly attended shows here with my mom and loved every single moment. It was so nice to enjoy a picnic dinner under the stars with friends and family. Oh, and be able to see a great performance as well.
Nana knew that I had been to several plays out there, and I’m sure she asked what I normally had for dinner when we went. Well, when I went with my family, dinner normally consisted of KFC or some other type of take out since my mom never had time to cook dinner after work and get out there early enough to get a decent seat. So I’m sure I told Nana that we normally got KFC. And I’m also pretty sure that my younger self was slightly disappointed when Nana pulled out her home-made Italian version of fried chicken… Until I had my first bite and realized how delicious Nana’s chicken was. After that, I remember not being able to get enough and wanting seconds and thirds until the chicken was gone.
So what makes Nana’s chicken so great? It prepared in an egg wash then dipped in a seasoned breadcrumb/Parmesan cheese mixture, and fried in olive oil until crispy and cooked through. That’s it. It’s super easy and just as delicious. It is also extremely versatile. You can eat the chicken just as is. You can add it to a salad, or you can use it as a base for chicken parmesan, which I’ll write about later. You can cut the chicken into smaller bites to make “nuggets” for the kids. Always yummy and yummy all ways.
Nana’s chicken cutlets
3-4 chicken breasts, pounded thinly
½ cup milk
1-2 cups Italian breadcrumb
½ cup Parmesan cheese
Olive oil for frying
To begin, lightly beat the eggs and then add the milk. Pour into a plate or a dish that is big enough to fit the chicken (like these from Pampered Chef). In a separate dish, mix the seasoned breadcrumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Pour olive oil into a deep sided frying pan until the pan has about ¼ inch of oil in it. Heat the oil until about 350 degrees. Once the oil is to temperature, begin by first dipping the chicken into the egg wash, and flip it so both sides are coated. Do the same in the breadcrumb mixture.
Once sufficiently coated with breadcrumb, carefully place the chicken into the pan of oil. Fry until the chicken is golden brown, then flip. Once both sides are golden and the chicken is no longer pink in the middle, remove the chicken from the pan and place on a dish layered with paper towels to drain some of the excess oil. Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce, or just plain! What is your go-to sauce? Comment below!