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Sesame Turkey Cutlets with Israeli Couscous Pilaf


Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 121

Crisp pan-fried turkey cutlets offer a nice change of pace from chicken. Their richness is balanced by the tangy feta and bright parsley in the couscous. Look for the larger Israeli-style couscous next to regular couscous at the supermarket, or substitute the same amount of orzo.

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 cups Israeli couscous
  • 2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbs. sesame seeds
  • 3/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2-1/4 oz. (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 4-1/4-inch-thick turkey breast cutlets (4 to 5 oz. each)
  • 4 oz. feta, crumbled (1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 4 lemon wedges

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat 2 Tbs. of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the couscous and cook, stirring constantly, until deep golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the couscous is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep covered.

Meanwhile, combine the breadcrumbs, sesame seeds, 1/2 tsp. of the paprika, the cayenne, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a shallow bowl. Whisk the eggs in a second shallow bowl. Put the flour in a third shallow bowl and stir in 1/4 tsp. salt and the remaining 1/4 tsp. paprika. Dredge each cutlet in the flour, then the egg, and then the breadcrumbs. Transfer to a baking sheet or platter.

Heat 3 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add two of the cutlets and cook, flipping once with tongs, until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes total. Transfer the cutlets to a paper-towel-lined plate. Heat the remaining 3 Tbs. oil in the skillet until shimmering hot and cook the remaining cutlets in the same manner.

Uncover the couscous and stir in the feta, parsley, onion, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Serve the cutlets with the couscous and lemon wedges.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 860, Fat (kcal): 40, Fat Calories (g): 350, Saturated Fat (g): 9, Protein (g): 50, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 15, Carbohydrates (mg): 76, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 14, Sodium (g): 910, Cholesterol (g): 165, Fiber (g): 5,

Photo: Scott Phillips

This is a review for the cous cous; haven't tried the turkey yet, but definitely will. Although I realized too late that my parsley was way too far over the hill, the recipe with the cous cous, chicken broth, red onion and feta cheese (s&p, of course), this went together very well. Of note, I was cooking a lamb dish, and this was a great side!

This recipe tasted fabulous. First time I worked with breading turkey. I did slice the turkey cutlets in half since they were quite thick. This made the meat cook quicker. The couscous complimented the meal nicely. Will repeat this for sure!

This was delicious. The breadcrumbs were cruncy & tasty (did add a pinch of curry to the seasoning). The couscous was delicious. Definitely a keeper!

Absolutely delicious, fills the craving for schnitzel. Here are the changes I am making for next time: 1) The cutlets are delicious but could distinguish themselves a bit more by increasing the flavour ingredients: I'll double the paprika and cayenne next time. 2) The dredge easily makes enough to accommodate 2-4 more cutlets. Plan accordingly. Cous cous: 1) I will double the red onion and parsley next time. 2) We love adding Greek yoghurt to cous cous and if you do too it's safe to skip the feta.

Very simple, yet tasty dinner. I did modify it a bit... I used chicken breast, which was great. I also subbed panko for the bread crumbs and mayonnaise for the egg so that I could make a smaller batch. The couscous was tasty as well, and was a nice complimented to the chicken. Will definitely make this one again.

This is one of those meals that is so good I've made it over and over. I had never used turkey cutlets before, and, at least in this dish, they are tender, succulent and flavorful. The crust is crisp and delicious with the flavor boosters of sesame seeds and paprika, and the couscous is one of those dishes I'm tempted to just stick a spoon in and eat straight from the bowl. Its rich with the chicken broth and salty/cheesy with the feta. I've actually substituted Asiago for the feta and think its even better! And it truly is a fast yet elegant weeknight supper!

This is a review of the couscous only! Easy, delicious and a perfect side dish. Perfect with my roast chicken tonight.

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