I had a bag of thawed chicken cutlets that needed to be used up today. I wanted to make something different, yet delicious at the same time. I know it's kind of hard to do, but I think I made a winner. I was thinking of making a chicken parmesan dish, but didn't want to use anything tomato based, but I wanted to add some delicious flavor. I had made my 4 Cheese Fancy Baked Mac N Cheese, and thought that using pesto would be a nice way of adding flavor and not overpower or out shine the mac n cheese. (the mac n cheese was the most work I've done for a baked mac n cheese ever). I was trying to make something easy and still tasty without drying out the chicken. Which for me is a big thing, I don't like dry chicken and it was a concern for me as these were cutlets and not full chicken breasts.
6 chicken cutlets
2 Tbsp pesto
2 egg whites
1/2 cup buttermilk
1-2 cups italian seasoned bread crumbs
oil for pan frying
cheese for topping
Between a big piece of plastic wrap, pound the chicken cutlets to approximately the same thickness through out the cutlet, set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the pesto, egg whites, and buttermilk, beat well.
Heat oil for pan frying while doing the rest. add approx 1 inch of oil in the bottom of a thick bottomed pan. Heat on med. til water droplet dances in the oil. then it is hot enough to cook the chicken in.
Pour the italian breadcrumbs on a plate, then just dredge the pounded chicken into the egg combination, then the breadcrumbs (creating a light coating, but making sure it's completely covered with breadcrumbs), repeat with each cutlet until they are all dredged in egg and breadcrumb mixture.
Preheat oven to 350...
Add as many chicken cutlets into the hot pan leaving room between each one. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until browned. Then remove and place on paper towels to soak up some of the oil. Add cheese to the top of each piece of chicken to melt as it slightly cools.
Once all the chicken has been browned, place on a foil lined cookie sheet, and bake in the oven 10-15 minutes longer to make sure the chicken is cooked through and cheese is starting to brown on top of the chicken.
This creates a nice crisp crust and juicy chicken.
This was a delicious, juicy chicken. My middle son said it just needed salt. But since I'm trying to reduce our sodium intake, I didn't add salt. You could add salt and pepper if desired either to the breadcrumbs or the egg mixture. I thought it had enough flavor without the added sodium. I put out ranch dressing, bbq sauce and ketchup on the table if the chicken was too dry to eat without sauce. But no one used it. It was perfect!
This was a hit and I will be making again. :)