Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lemon Chicken Cutlets - Simple or Extravagant?

I have on hand a family pack of boneless thin-sliced chicken cutlets and I don't know if I should go with a simple recipe or something more involved. I am going to use half tonight and save the rest for tomorrow or freeze it. Yes, they cost a little more than regular chicken cutlets, but they save time because you don't have to clean and fillet them. I also think in the end they cost the same after considering the weight of the fat and undesirable pieces that are discarded from the regular cutlets.

Depending on the amount of time I have tonight, I might stick with my trusted simple recipe, modified from my mom's recipe.

Let me know if you like my simple chicken recipe!
Kali Orexi

Niki's Simple Lemon Chicken Cutlets
This is my go-to recipe for a quick weeknight dinner.

  • 1 lb chicken breasts, boned and fileted
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt, to taste 
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


Prepare the chicken cutlets by boning and filleting (or cubing, if desired). Please practice safe handling techniques when working with raw chicken (cut the chicken on a cutting board specifically used for chicken and not for raw vegetables) and don't re-use the knife or cutting board for handling the cooked chicken. You don't want to risk spreading salmonella.

Season your chicken with the salt, pepper and oregano. I use a pinch of each seasoning on each side. You can also try garlic salt for more flavor.

Choose a frying pan or skillet that will hold all your chicken cutlets without overlapping; they will cook more thoroughly and quickly. 

Heat your skillet over a medium heat. Be careful with a non-stick skillet, since those heat up rather quickly. 

Add oil. Remember, you are not frying the chicken, so don't use a ton of oil.

When the oil gets hot, add the chicken cutlets (or pieces). Let them cook on one side. Chicken looks opaque when it starts to cook. Wait until the edges become opaque; the opaqueness starts to creep up to the top. 

Now you can turn them. Let them cook on that side for a little while. 

Turn one over to check the color. They will be ready when they take on a nice golden brown. You can also check the doneness by stabbing the center with your tongs or fork (please use non-stick tools to avoid scratching up your non-stick pan).

Now throw in your lemon juice (be careful because it will start to sizzle) and move the chicken around in it, turning it over. This basically deglazes the pan (removes the cooked residues) and adds that flavor to your food. This is a simple way; you can also remove the chicken from the pan and deglaze using a wooden spoon. 

Once the chicken is coated, it's ready.

I like to serve the chicken cutlets with rice. My mom serves it with linguine (she also sautes it with oil and garlic, but I like to keep it simple). You can make rice pilaf, or if it's year-end and you came home late from work, use Rice a Roni or Uncle Bens.

Yield: 2 servings

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