This is one of my favorite chicken dishes that I have made frequently over the years. Luckily, ripe, sweet cherry tomatoes are available year round, so anytime I am in the mood for this dish I can find the ingredients and put it together pretty quickly. As I always state, fresh, homemade breadcrumbs are far superior to dry store bought ones and in a recipe this simple, using the best ingredients will ensure the best results. I keep my leftover bread, cutting it into cubes and then freezing it for when I need fresh breadcrumbs. When I want breadcrumbs, I then throw a hand full of the cubes into my food processor, still frozen, with whatever seasonings I want. I then pulse the mixture until it reaches the desired texture.
A chicken cutlet is simply a boneless, skinless chicken breast that has been sliced lengthwise into thin slices about 1/3 of an inch thick. If you cannot find the chicken already cut into slices it is simple to do yourself. Just freeze the chicken breasts until they just about frozen and with a sharp knife cut into cutlets. Use a meat mallet and lightly pound the cutlets until they are of equal thickness.
Deborah Mele 2011
For The Cutlets:
- 4 Chicken Cutlets
- 3 Cups Stale Bread Cubes
- 1 Teaspoon Grated Lemon Zest
- 1 Teaspoon Chopped Red Chile Pepper (Optional)
- 3 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Parsley
- 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1/4 Cup Pine Nuts
- Sea Salt
- Cracked Black Pepper
- 2 Large Eggs
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
For The Tomato Topping:
- 2 Pints Cherry Tomatoes, Washed And Sliced In Half
- 2 Garlic Cloves, Peeled And Minced
- Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Chopped Basil Or Parsley
- Place the bread cubes, lemon zest, chile pepper, parsley, grated cheese, sea salt and pepper in the food processor.
- Pulse until finely blended, then add the pine nuts and pulse just until the nuts are coarsely chopped.
- Beat the eggs and dip the cutlets first into the eggs, then the breadcrumbs and press with your fingertips to help the crumbs adhere.
- Refrigerate the chicken for one hour to allow the crumb coating to set.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Mix together the tomato topping ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- Place the butter and olive oil in a flat casserole dish or pan large enough to hold all of the cutlets and place the cutlets on top.
- Cook for 10 minutes until the cutlets are browned on one side and turn.
- Cook an additional 7 to 10 minutes or until the cutlets are cooked through.
- Serve on individual plates with a scoop of the fresh tomato topping.