Whole-grain Dijon gives pan-fried chicken cutlets pleasantly sharp flavor


Pan-fried chicken cutlets are a convenient weeknight dinner, but they can be a little bland. Adding layers of flavor to each component of the dish ensures delicious results.

In this recipe from our cookbook "Milk Street 365: The All-Purpose Cookbook for Every Day of the Year," whole-grain Dijon mustard is whisked into the egg mixture that coats the cutlets, providing a bright, pleasantly sharp and flavorful base for the breadcrumb coating to stick to.

Seasoned cutlets are dredged in a mixture of flour and cornstarch for an extra crunchy coating, then dipped into the egg mixture before being coated with panko breadcrumbs. You can use regular Dijon mustard in place of the whole-grain, but add another splash of water when beating the eggs so the mixture has a consistency that lightly but thoroughly coats the cutlets.

The cutlets are fried in shimmering oil until golden brown, then served with a tangy cucumber salad. The freshness and crunch of the salad dressed simply with lemon and dill is the perfect foil for the rich cutlets.

Don't skip pounding the cutlets to an even thickness. This allows them to cook through completely and quickly.


Start to finish: 30 minutes

Servings: 4

1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard

1 3/4 cups panko breadcrumbs

Four 5- to 6-ounce chicken breast cutlets, pounded to an even 1/4-inch thickness

10 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided

In a small bowl, stir together the cucumber, lemon juice, dill, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside. Set a wire rack in each of 2 rimmed baking sheets. In a pie plate or wide, shallow bowl, stir together the flour and cornstarch. In a second similar dish, use a fork to beat the eggs, mustard and 1 tablespoon water until well combined. In a third, stir together the panko and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Season each cutlet on both sides with salt and pepper. One at a time, dredge the cutlets through the flour mixture, turning to coat and shaking off any excess, then coat both sides with egg, and finally dredge through the panko, pressing so the crumbs adhere. Place the cutlets on one of the prepared racks.

In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 6 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Add 2 cutlets and cook undisturbed until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Using tongs, flip and cook until the second sides are golden brown, about 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat. Transfer the cutlets to the second prepared rack. Repeat with the remaining 4 tablespoons oil and remaining cutlets, adjusting the heat as needed if the cutlets brown too quickly. Serve with the cucumber salad.

For more recipes, go to Christopher Kimball's Milk Street at 177milkstreet.com/ap.