Crispy Chicken Cutlets With Parmesan Polenta & Salsa Verde

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The crispiest, fried chicken cutlets, served with creamy parmesan polenta & a punchy green sauce. This main course is easy to make & super tasty!

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crispy chicken cutlets with parmesan polenta & salsa verde

A tasty, Italian style main course that’s packed full of flavour!

Here, we’re coating butterflied chicken breasts in panko breadcrumbs, shallow frying them until crisp & golden then serving them with the creamiest, parmesan polenta & a homemade salsa verde (green sauce).

This main course dish is made completely from scratch yet is incredibly easy to prepare & is properly delicious! These crispy chicken cutlets are a guaranteed crowd pleaser & make for a fantastic midweek meal or weekend dinner.

If you’re looking for more dinner recipes to try, check out our collection of main courses. Or for something to serve on the side, take a look at our side dish recipes.

Ingredient Notes

  • Chicken – We’re using boneless & skinless chicken breasts for our breaded cutlets.
  • Pané – To bread the chicken, we’re using plain flour, eggs, a splash of milk, panko breadcrumbs & dried Italian herbs. Make sure to use panko breadcrumbs, for the crispiest cutlets!
  • Fresh Herbs – To make our salsa verde, we’re using fresh parsley, mint & tarragon.
  • Anchovies – Good quality anchovy fillets work best for salsa verde. These are added to add a deeper, more complex flavour to the green sauce. Don’t worry though, your sauce won’t taste like anchovies!
  • Polenta – We’re using instant polenta for this dish. This is a finer ground polenta that cooks in 5 minutes or so. This is available from most supermarkets.
  • Parmesan – Our polenta is flavoured with grated parmesan but you could use a different cheese if you’d prefer or leave it out completely.
  • Chicken Stock – This adds a meatier flavour to our polenta. A stock cube dissolved in water works perfectly here!
fried cutlets

Components Of This Dish & How To Make Them

The full, printable recipe card for this dish can be found at the bottom of this post! Here’s a quick rundown of this recipe…

Crispy Chicken Cutlets

Here, we’re coating chicken breasts in a seasoned breadcrumbs then frying them until incredibly crispy. Here’s a step by step guide on how to do this…

  1. Butterflying
    First, we need to butterfly our chicken breasts. To do this, place a chicken breast onto a chopping board, lay a hand on top then carefully slice into one side, holding your knife parallel to the chopping board. Start at the thicker end of the chicken breast & make sure to stop before cutting all the way through. Open the chicken breast up like a book (it should look like a butterfly). Repeat this process with the remaining chicken breasts.
  2. Tenderising
    Next, place a butterflied chicken breast between two pieces of baking parchment then use a meat tenderising hammer (or rolling pin) to flatten it out to a thickness of around 1 cm.
  3. Pané
    To breadcrumb, we coat each chicken breast with flour then beaten egg then finally in panko breadcrumbs. For the best flavour, make sure to season the flour, eggs & breadcrumbs with salt & pepper.
  4. Frying
    To cook the cutlets, we shallow fry them in vegetable oil for 3-4 minutes on each side, until the outside is crisp & golden and the meat is cooked through.

Parmesan Polenta

We’re using instant polenta here which can be cooked in less than five minutes! This is ideal because it means that we can cook our polenta at the same time as we fry the chicken.

To cook the polenta, we add chicken stock into a large saucepan then bring to a boil over a high heat. We then gradually tip in the polenta, whisking constantly as we do so. The heat then gets turned down to low then we cook the polenta until it is thick (like creamy mash potato).

To finish, we stir in plenty of butter & grated parmesan then season with sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper.

parmesan polenta

Salsa Verde

Also called green sauce, salsa verde is an Italian, herb based sauce. In this, you’ll find several different green herbs (in this recipe we’re using parsley, mint & tarragon), garlic, capers, gherkins, anchovies, mustard, lemon juice (or vinegar) & olive oil.

To make salsa verde, we simply place all of the ingredients into a blender (I like to use a Nutribullet) then blend until smooth. The anchovies & capers can be quite salty so the sauce won’t need much seasoning apart from some freshly cracked black pepper.

salsa verde green sauce

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of chicken is best for cutlets?

To make chicken cutlets, you’ll need to use chicken breasts with both the skin & bones removed.

How long does it take to fry chicken cutlets?

Chicken cutlets will take 3-4 minutes to cook on each side over a medium-high heat. Pounding the chicken out to a thickness of 1 cm ensure that the meat will be cooked through on the stove & won’t need to go in an oven.

What breadcrumbs are best for chicken cutlets?

For the crispiest coating on our cutlets, it’s best to use panko breadcrumbs.

Can salsa verde be made in advance?

Salsa verde is best served fresh as the sauce’s colour won’t be as vibrant the longer it sits. Although it can be made a day ahead & stored in the fridge.

Can polenta be cooked in advance?

Creamy, looser polenta is best served as soon as it has been cooked. Made too far in advance & it will be too thick & will start to set in the pan.

Cooking Chicken Cutlets & Polenta On An Aga

With all of my recipes, I include cooking instructions for conventional ovens, fan ovens & also Agas. Here’s how to cook this recipe in an Aga…

Fry the chicken on the boiling plate & cook the polenta on the simmering plate.

Equipment Used

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More Main Courses To Try!

What’s For Dessert?

Want to finish your meal with a next level, homemade dessert? Here’s what we’d recommend…

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Crispy Chicken Cutlets With Parmesan Polenta & Salsa Verde

The crispiest, fried chicken cutlets, served with creamy parmesan polenta & a punchy green sauce. This main course is easy to make & super tasty!
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 Portions
Author: Ben Racey

Equipment

  • Blender/Food Processor
  • Juicer
  • Large Saucepan
  • Large Frying Pan
  • Meat Tenderising Hammer (See Notes)
  • Digital Food Probe

Ingredients

Salsa Verde

  • 15 g Flat Leaf Parsley
  • 10 g Mint Leaves
  • 5 g Tarragon Leaves
  • 60 g Olive Oil
  • 20 g Gherkins
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Anchovy Fillets
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Capers Drained
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard

Chicken Cutlets

  • 4 Chicken Breasts Boneless & Skinless
  • 60 g Plain Flour
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 tbsp Milk
  • 150 g Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp Mixed Italian Herbs See Notes
  • Vegetable Oil To Cook

Cheesy Parmesan

  • 500 g Chicken Stock
  • 110 g Instant Polenta
  • 35 g Butter
  • 50 g Grated Parmesan

Instructions

Salsa Verde

  • Place all of the salsa verde ingredients into a blender then blitz until smooth, pausing to scrape the sides down occasionally.
  • Give the sauce a taste, to check the seasoning then add in salt & pepper as needed. Give the salsa verde one final blend then transfer to a container & store in the fridge until needed.

Chicken Cutlets

  • Using a sharp knife, butterfly each chicken breast, making sure not to cut all the way through.
  • Next, place a chicken breast between two pieces of baking parchment then pound with a meat tendering hammer (or a rolling pin) to a thickness of around 1 cm. Repeat this process with the remaining chicken.
  • Next, prepare the pané station. To do this, take 3 bowls, fill one with the flour, one with the eggs & milk and another with the breadcrumbs & dried herbs. Beat the eggs with a fork then season each bowl with salt & pepper.
  • Toss a piece of chicken in the flour then dunk in the egg. Lift the chicken out of the egg, letting the excess drain off then place into the bowl of breadcrumbs. Thoroughly coat the chicken with the breadcrumbs then place onto a tray. Repeat with the remaining cutlets.
    After bread crumbing, the chicken can be cooked straight away or stored in the fridge for up to one day.
  • Place a large frying pan over a medium-high heat, add in a 1 cm layer of vegetable oil then leave for a minute or two, to get hot.
    We're going to be making the polenta at the same time as cooking the chicken. See below for instructions!
  • Next, carefully add the breaded chicken into the oil then fry for 3-4 minutes on each side, until crisp & golden. A digital food probe inserted into the meat should read at least 75°c/167°f.
    Depending on the size of your pan, you'll probably need to fry the chicken in batches. But make sure not to overcrowd the pan!
  • Once cooked, transfer the chicken to a plate lined with kitchen paper, allow to drain momentarily then season with sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper.

Parmesan Polenta

  • Whilst your chicken is frying, add the chicken stock into a large saucepan, set over a high heat & bring to the boil.
  • Next, gradually tip the polenta into the stock, whisking constantly as you do so then turn the heat down to low & cook out until thick, whisking frequently. This will take 4-5 minutes.
    The polenta should be the consistency of a creamy mashed potato once cooked. If it seems too thick, whisk in a splash of hot water.
  • Once the polenta is cooked, whisk in the butter & grated parmesan then season with sea salt & freshly cracked pepper. Keep warm over a very gentle heat whilst you finish cooking the chicken.

Plating Up

  • Lay out four large plates then spoon polenta into the centre of each one. Spread the polenta out with the back of a spoon then top with a chicken cutlet & a generous spoonful of salsa verde. Serve immediately.

Notes

1. Cooking On An Aga – Fry the chicken on the boiling plate & cook the polenta on the simmering plate.
2. Chicken – You’ll need four chicken breasts for this recipe, with both the bones & skin removed. 
3. Polenta – Make sure to use instant polenta as this cooks quicker than coarse ground. This is available in most supermarkets.
4. Making In Advance – The chicken can be breaded & the salsa verde can be made up to a day in advance & stored in the fridge.
5. Frying Pan – To fry the chicken, it’s best to use a large frying pan or skillet. You’ll probably need to cook the chicken two at a time. Once fried, the chicken should be served straight away or can be kept warm, covered with foil for 5-10 minutes.
6. Tenderising – A meat tenderising hammer works best for thinning out the chicken breasts. If you haven’t got one, a rolling pin or something heavy (like a saucepan) will work as well.
7. Blender – If you have a nutribullet blender, these are perfect for pureeing sauces. A jug blender or a food processor will also work.
8. Dried Herbs (for breadcrumbs) – I used a pre made mix of Italian herbs to flavour my breadcrumbs, which I got from the supermarket. If you can’t get these, dried oregano will work as well.

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