These crispy, juicy, tender chicken cutlets are a bit of a marvel.
I don’t know about you, but around my house crispy chicken is about the only thing we can all agree on. Television? No. Chicken cutlets? Yes.
Chicken Milanese has always been a dish I’ve adored. What’s not to like? But since it’s usually heavily breaded and fried in a good amount of oil, it’s not exactly something I want to make regularly. So I’ve taken what I love most about that dish and worked it into a quicker, healthy version, and I have to say, I’m very happy with it.
We don’t use any breadcrumbs to coat here, just egg and flour, which keeps it light and lets the flavor of the chicken come through. I use a combination of tapioca starch (also called Tapioca Flour) and chickpea flour to coat the chicken, and the combination is really spectacular. The tapioca starch really encourages the crispy exterior more than you’d achieve with flour alone.
You can find chickpea flour and tapioca starch at Whole Foods, in some grocery stores, and online, but absolutely feel free to use a combination of all purpose/ gluten free flour and cornstarch if you’d prefer not to search these ingredients out. I’ve detailed these substitutions in the recipe below.
I usually serve these with a squeeze of lemon, or with some clean ketchup (Primal Kitchen makes a great one), but these are also great as the base for a skillet chicken parmesan or piled high with an arugula and parmesan salad like a traditional Chicken Milanese. I recommend reheating leftovers in the oven to keep the coating crisp.
I love to pan fry in avocado oil, it’s a clean oil that has a higher smoking point than olive oil or butter, so it’s easy to get proteins nice and crispy, but a light olive oil, peanut, or vegetable oil works if that’s what you have. If you’re interested in buying some, I get my favorite brand at Costco for a good price.
I’m working on a Buffalo Chicken version with this recipe, so stay tuned for it! Let me know if you make it, or have any questions. I love hearing from you!
Crispy Grain-Free Chicken Cutlets
2 large eggs, whisked
1 Tablespoon water
1 ½ lbs. chicken breasts, butterflied and sliced in half lengthwise
½ cup tapioca starch (you can sub in ¼ cup cornstarch)
½ cup chickpea flour (you can sub almond flour or AP flour)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
A few cracks of black pepper
Avocado oil or olive oil
Season chicken with 1 ½ teaspoons salt and a few cracks of pepper.
Set up your dredging station:
In a shallow bowl, whisk the eggs and water until a bit frothy.
In another shallow bowl, stir together your flour, garlic powder, and tapioca/cornstarch. Lay a sheet pan lined with paper towel or cooling rack next to your stove for chicken to rest once cooked.
Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat and add your oil.
Dip each piece of chicken in the egg mixture, then flour and coat well. Pan fry the chicken, working in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan, until golden brown and cooked through, about 2-5 minutes per side depending on thickness. The chicken will release easily when it’s ready to turn. Transfer chicken to prepared sheet pan as they finish and sprinkle immediately with a pinch of salt.
Serve simply, topped with dressed arugula and a squeeze of lemon, with your favorite dipping sauce, or with a squeeze of lemon and your desired sides.