This one's a home run at my house! And I am willing to bet it would be at your's too, if your peeps like crispy little chicken sandwiches on warm soft brioche buns served with a good schmear of creamy tartar-y sauce goodness. The best part about it is, it's a lightened up (healthier) version that is both easier to make and tastes oh so good. For real life. Not kidding!
Earlier this year I discovered Mark Bittman's roasted chicken cutlet recipe and basically I have decided that I am never, ever FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE frying chicken cutlets over a pan of oil on the stove again. Indeed this was a life changing recipe for me!
His method is genius. I'll tell you why. First of all, only one side of the chicken is coated with breadcrumbs, more like a topping. Since it is roasted (not fried) with only the tops exposed, one-sided crumbs means you don't bother flipping the cutlets or worrying about bottoms getting soggy. (Also half the breadcrumb, half the carbs - if you're counting that sort of thing). While you might think this means sacrificing the overall crunch and mouth-feel you expect from a cutlet, you'll be pleasantly surprised that the difference is not all that noticeable.
Second, only 2 tablespoons of oil is used in the breadcrumb topping and that is IT. There is no additional oil used to roast them which is so much healthier than shallow-fry because no matter what I do, I always end up with less oil in the pan than I started with which means you know where the oil went (into my food).
Third, the cutlets are roasted in the oven. Mine actually take a mere 15 minutes but exact time it will depend on your oven and the precise thickness of your chicken pieces (up to 25 minutes, give or take but just check at 15 minute mark and go from there to avoid overcooking). This means no batch-frying and then keeping them warm in the oven while you do the next batch. It simply goes on one baking sheet into the oven and done at the same time. I'm sure I don't need to explain why that is super awesome.
And finally, the most important reason this recipe gets heavy rotation is because every person in my family loves them. My husband thinks these taste like McChicken but better (yes meant to be a compliment ;)) and my little girls audibly 'mmm's while they devour them!
Recipe for roasted cutlet adapted slightly from Mark Bittman's roasted chicken cutlet recipe. Serves 4.
2 tbsp grapeseed oil (or other neutral tasting oil)
1 C coarse breadcrumbs (I use this one or any coarse crumb you can find to achieve that crunchy texture)
1 large egg
About 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken pieces (I prefer thigh but breast or tenders are great too), pounded to 1/4" thick cutlets and cut roughly the size of your buns
Salt & pepper to taste
To assemble & serve:
Brioche buns, slider or regular size
Mayonnaise or Vegenaise grapeseed oil version which is what I keep in the fridge (it's really good I swear)
Dill pickle relish (I like Bubbie's because it is fermented aka good for gut health and preservatives free)
Your favorite veggies for freshness and crunch. I love:
- Purple cabbage, sliced thinly
- Tomato, sliced thinly
- Leafy green lettuce, washed dried & trimmed
1. Preheat oven to 400f. Lightly oil or parchment-line a baking sheet.
2. Combine oil and breadcrumbs in a large, shallow dish. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Toss to combine well.
3. Put the egg into a second large, shallow dish and whisk lightly.
4. Season all the chicken pieces with salt and pepper on both sides. Dip one side of each chicken piece in the egg, then in the breadcrumb mixture. Press down lightly with your fingertips to make it adhere.
5. Place chicken pieces crumb-side up on the baking sheet. If there are any leftover crumbs, sprinkle on top and press down a bit.
6. Roast until chicken is cooked through, about 15-25 minutes. Check doneness by cutting through the center of one piece. As long as juices run clear, it is cooked through. Do not overcook as you run of risk of drying it out.
7. While the chicken is in the oven, wash and prep your vegetables. Split your brioche buns and slather on the mayonnaise (or vegenaise) and dill pickle relish. Once the chicken is done, serve atop the prepared brioche buns and pile on the vegetables.