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Breaded Chicken Cutlets with Orange Salsa

By on May 17, 2017

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


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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