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Breaded Chicken Cutlets with Orange Salsa

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

Few can resist a crisp fried cutlet. Here, both the meat and the breading are infused with the delicate flavors of orange and thyme. The fruity, colorful salsa complements the rich crust. If you prefer, you can substitute veal or pork cutlets for the chicken.


  • 2 cups dried breadcrumbs, such as panko
  • 2 oranges (about 9 oz. each)
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 thin-cut chicken breast cutlets (about 1 lb.)
  • 1 medium tomato, cored and cut into medium dice (about 1 cup)
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped red onion
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh cilantro; more to taste
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp. fresh lime juice; more to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil; more as needed

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 450
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 200
  • Fat (g): 23
  • Saturated Fat (g): 4
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 10
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Cholesterol (mg): 110
  • Sodium (mg): 540
  • Carbohydrates (g): 33
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Sugar (g): 3
  • Protein (g): 29


  • Put the breadcrumbs in a wide shallow bowl or rimmed plate. Using a rasp-style grater, finely zest the oranges into the breadcrumbs. Add the thyme, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper, and toss to combine, breaking up any clumps of zest.
  • Squeeze the juice of one of the oranges into a wide bowl or large zip-top bag. Add the cutlets, turn to coat if necessary, and marinate for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, segment the remaining orange as directed, cut the segments into a few pieces, and toss with the tomato, onion, and cilantro. Add the olive oil, lime juice, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Toss and season to taste with more cilantro, salt, and pepper.
  • Crack the egg in another wide shallow bowl and beat lightly. Put the flour on a rimmed plate and season with 1/2 tsp. salt and a healthy grind of black pepper.
  • Lift a cutlet from the juice and shake off the excess liquid. Dip it first in the flour, coating both sides well and shaking off any excess flour. Then dip in the egg, letting the excess run back into the bowl, then into the breadcrumbs, making sure both sides are well coated.
  • In a 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until the oil erupts into lots of bubbles when you dip in a corner of a cutlet. Fry the cutlets, in batches if necessary, flipping once, adding more oil and adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a steady bubbling action, until cooked through and golden brown on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Serve topped with some of the salsa.


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Reviews (4 reviews)

  • Jambo | 08/24/2020

    Very simple and delicious! I took the advice of another reviewer and replaced the egg and flour with several tablespoons of mayo in the orange juice marinade, and this seemed to assist with adhering the panko to the thin-sliced chicken breasts I used. Also, I used medium salsa I already had as a base for the diced orange and lime juice, to save time. It came out wonderfully.

  • weezi | 04/21/2018

    I would definitely make this recipe again, even on a weeknight (it was featured as a weekday recipe in Make it Tonight, but I made on a weekend). It took about 30-40 minutes. Used boneless, skinless chicken thighs (which I did not pound). Also, because I was short of time, I used 1/2 cup medium-hot salsa I had on hand, and added the orange segments, 3 tsp. lime juice, 2 tbsp coriander, 2 chopped scallions, and a little tabasco sauce. I marinated the chicken in the juice of 1 orange, but added 2 heaping tbsp mayonnaise to the juice, and then dipped in panko crumbs with the orange zest, thyme, salt and pepper (without doing the flour-beaten egg step). I estimate I used about 1 1/2 cups panko for 6 chicken thighs and it was all used up, but I never find having too much panko a problem (just toss in the leftovers for the last 2-3 mins. of cooking, and they make a great crunchy topping for a lot of dishes (e.g. when I make fish tacos with breaded tilapia, I fry up the leftover panko crumbs & scramble the leftover egg and use those as toppings, along with guacamole - delicious). I did not find that the breading fell off, using the method I've described, but also I was careful when turning the chicken.

  • dianary | 02/13/2018

    Very tasty results. It would work better to recommend pounding the cutlets to a measurement, say 1/4 inch thick, so the meat is uniformly thick. Then it would be easier to fry to doneness at the recommended temperature without excessive browning. The breading fell off the chicken pieces, especially when tested for doneness with a knife. The recipe recommended twice the amount of panko than needed, and it should have called for a bit more flour. It would be helpful to give an estimate of preparation time: this took me longer to prepare than I expected.

  • CVBReno | 02/02/2017

    Twice as much panko is called for than is needed. Salsa best made with summer garden tomatoes.

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