Juicy Chicken Cutlet
There are fresh and dried varieties of panko. Use fresh panko for more volume and crispness.
Photographed by Takashi Yoshida
Calorie count is per serving.
Does not include time needed to return the meat to room temperature.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
- 1 chicken breast (250 g)
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/3 tsp salt
- A pinch of pepper
- Fresh panko breadcrumbs, as neededNote
Alternatively, use dry panko sprayed with a little water.
[Double tomato sauce]
- 1 tomato (100 g)
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tsp chuno (medium-thick) sauceNote
Or Worcestershire sauce or tonkatsu sauce.
- Oil for frying
Remove the skin from the chicken breast and trim excess fat. Cut the chicken into two equal portions, slicing at an angle.
Make crisscross incisions in the skin-side of the meat. Set aside for 5-10 minutes to return to room temperature.
In order to cook the meat thoroughly, it's important to return the meat to room temperature before frying. The meat right under the skin is fibrous and tends to shrink and toughen when cooked. Cutting the fibers by making incisions keeps the meat tender.
Crack the egg and combine [A] in a bowl to make the egg liquid.
Seasoning the meat directly will draw out moisture. This will make the breading soggy. To avoid this, add the seasoning to the egg liquid and dip the meat into the liquid. Since the egg liquid contains oil, dipping the meat into the liquid creates an oily film that will raise the temperature inside the breading during the frying process. This has the additional benefit of making the breading crisp.
Dust the meat with flour and brush off any excess flour. Dip the meat in the egg liquid and cover with panko. Set aside for 3-5 minutes to allow the panko to settle.
Fresh panko breadcrumbs are best for cutlets. The moisture inside the panko is released immediately when immersed in hot oil, so the breading will be nice and crisp. Fresh panko can be frozen, so it's a good idea to make a large batch.
Heat the frying oil over medium heat until the temperature is 170°C. Lightly pat the cutlets to remove excess panko and lower them into the oil. This will cause a surge of bubbles. Wait for the bubbles to subside, then move the cutlets around in the oil.
Raise the heat to medium-high and turn over the cutlets. As soon as the bubbles are reduced to foam and the oil starts to crackle, remove the cutlets to avoid drying up the meat.
Raising the heat towards the end makes the breading crisp. The metallic crackling noise is a sign that moisture is seeping out from the meat. Removing the cutlets from the oil brings them into contact with air. If this causes the meat juices to sizzle, the cutlets should be tender, juicy and crisp.
Leave for 4-5 minutes to cook with residual heat. Meanwhile, prepare the [double tomato sauce]. Scoop out the tomato stem and cut into 1 cm cubes. Add [B] and combine.
Drain the cutlets on a wire rack, covered in a paper towel and placed on a tray. Alternatively, stand the cutlets up. Wait for the meat juices to settle and cook with residual heat.
Cut the meat into easy-to-eat pieces. Plate up and cover with [double tomato sauce].