These chicken breast strips or cutlets are simply spectacular. They’re crunchy on the outside, the meat inside is moist and tender, and the flavor is phenomenal. They really are a must try and because of how easy they are to make, they’re a great weeknight meal idea that can be paired with just about anything. As a matter of fact, I’m going to go ahead and list some pairing ideas at the end of this post…
But before we get to them, here’s why you’re going to love this recipe:
- It’s easy to make.
- It uses wholesome, clean eating ingredients.
- It produces an enviably flavorful herbed cutlet that is moist and tender.
- The crunch of the crust is phenomenal and holds up well to being reheated.
- It doesn’t require deep frying (I actually recommend against that).
- It can even be made in an airfryer if you like.
- You can create an amazing sauce in the same pan (using any little leftover bits that are stuck to the pan) with a few extra ingredients.
- It can be paired and served with a wide variety of sides!
- In terms of “fried chicken” this is honestly a pretty healthy recipe!
Now, to make our wonderfully herbaceous crusted parmesan cutlets you’re going to need the following ingredients:
- Chicken breast: boneless, skinless and cut into strips or cutlets.
- White whole wheat flour (with 1 tbsp set aside for the lemon sauce): or you can also use whole wheat pastry flour.
- Parmesan Cheese: or any other hard salty cheese such as asiago or even a pecorino romano. Freshly shredded is always best. I recommend against using any other kind of cheese (soft, semi-soft cheeses or any artificial or powdered cheeses) as they will either melt or burn and your crust won’t form.
- Freshly chopped parsley: Italian or curly leaf, you’ll want to mince it up into fine bits.
- Salt: I’m using my favorite Himalayan Pink salt but you can also use a sea salt of your choosing.
- Black Pepper: Fresh ground or pre-ground, you can’t go wrong with this wonderfully earthy, piney spice.
- Garlic: use fresh cloves that are finely minced.
- Hot Sauce: this is optional but if you happen to have some on hand you’ll need just a little dash.
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice (with 1-2 tbsp reserved for the lemon sauce):
- Eggs: I’m using whole large eggs. You may need more (or less) depending on the amount of chicken you have to bread.
- Extra light olive oil: You’ll only need a bit to shallow fry your chicken in. You can also use any neutral oil of your choosing (just be sure it’s clean label)
And for our lemony gravy sauce:
- A pat of butter
- Some chicken (bone) broth and
- The reserved 1 tbsp of flour and 1-2 tbsp of lemon juice (listed above)
In one bowl we’ll combine our the eggs, garlic, lemon juice and hot sauce and whisk them together until fully combined.
In another bowl we’ll mix together the white whole wheat flour, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper.
With our “station” consisting of our cut chicken pieces, our wet mix and our dry mix, set up, we’ll proceed to bread our chicken by coating the chicken pieces…
- first in the flour mixture,
- then in the egg mixture, and
- finally back into the flour mixture.
Once you coat each piece, set it aside onto a plate and allow them to “rest” for a few minutes so that the flour can adhere to the chicken better.
In a large skillet, add a couple tablespoons of oil. Use just enough to cover the bottom of your pan. Once the oil is hot we’re going to gently place the chicken into our oiled skillet, being careful to not overcrowd the pan and to not have the oil splash. Work in batches if you have to. After the chicken turns a lovely golden brown on the underside flip them and brown the other side (it takes about 2-4 minutes on a med heat setting). Once our chicken is done, and they’ve been placed on a paper towel lined plate we’re going to make the sauce.
To do so we’ll need our chicken bone broth, butter, reserved flour and reserved lemon juice.
Using the same pan that has the leftover oil and drippings from our freshly fried chicken cutlets, we’re going to drop the heat to low and add the butter (top left). Once the butter is melted we’ll add the flour and incorporate it into the oil and butter (top right). Allow the flour to cook (on low) for a couple minutes, being sure to keep it moving so that it doesn’t burn (bottom left). Finally, we’ll add in the chicken (bone) broth and the lemon juice and whisk to ensure that the sauce is smooth and lump free (bottom right).
All that’s left to do is to plate your crunchy, golden bites of heaven and serve with whatever side you so desire. Speaking of which…
If you’re looking for side dish inspiration to accompany this recipe try any of the following:
- Dunk your crunchy chicken strips in some ketchup and enjoy them with a side of French Fries (a guaranteed winner with the little ones!)
- Ultra-easy Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese (seen in the picture above).
- Soft and Fluffy Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas paired with a drizzle of Mayonnaise, shredded cheese and lettuce (pictured above).
- Simple Coconut Saffron Rice.
- Roasted Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes.
- Or some Simply Delicious Cauliflower Mash if you’re watching your carb count.
- Clean Eat Parmesan Creamed Spinach.
- Honey-Glazed Carrots.
- The Best Ever Green Beans.
- Broccoli Salad With Dressing – A Perfect Summer Side.
- Or add it to a Cobb or Caesar Salad.
Parmesan-Herb Crusted Chicken (with a Lemon Sauce)
For the Chicken:
- 1½ lb chicken breast boneless, skinless
- 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (finely chopped or shredded)
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley (minced)
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/2 tsp hot sauce (optional)
- 1/4 cup extra light olive oil
For the Lemon Sauce:
- 1 tbsp salted butter
- 1 tbsp white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup chicken bone broth
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
For the Chicken:
- Cut the chicken to 1/2-inch thick strips and pieces.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, minced garlic, hot sauce, and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice.
- In another bowl, combine the 1/2 cup of white whole wheat flour with the Parmesan cheese, fresh minced parsley and salt.
- Coat each piece of chicken first in the flour mixture then in the egg mixture and finally in the flour mixture once again. Set each piece aside on a plate.
- Add 2-3 tbsp of oil to a large skillet (just enough to cover the bottom) and set the heat to medium-high. Once the oil is hot (but not smoking) add the coated chicken pieces and allow them to brown on each side for 2-4 minutes before turning and browning on the other side. Remove from the skillet and set onto a paper towel lined plate.
For the Lemon Sauce:
- Once all pieces of chicken are cooked, set the stove-top heat to low and add the butter to the pan with the oil and drippings. Once the butter has melted, add the tablespoon of white whole wheat flour and allow it to absorb all the fat. Once the flour has cooked (about a minute) add the chicken bone broth and stir briskly to prevent any lumps from forming. Set the heat to med-low and add in 2 tbsp of lemon juice and continue whisking and stirring until the sauce has thickened. Pour the sauce into a bowl or gravy boat.
- Serve the chicken with the gravy. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to five days in the refrigerator.
- If frying in batches, be sure to replenish the oil in the pan between batches to ensure that the chicken doesn't stick.
- To preserve the crunch of the chicken, do not add the sauce prior to serving.
- Use real Parmesan cheese, not the powdery bottled version of it.
Did you try this recipe? What did you think of it? Let us know by leaving a comment and rating below or by connecting with us (@kitrusycleaneat and #kitrusy) and don’t forget to show off your pics and tag us so we can celebrate your delectable creations together! 🥳