An ode to the cutlet

What can perk up a boring chicken breast, accommodate almost any type of meat, and even make a bland vegetable the star of the show? Cutting it in thin pieces, breading it and shallow frying it to a rich golden hue. Over at Taste Cooking, Anna Hezel waxes poetic about this in a piece titled “Consider the cutlet.”

Whether you call it a cutlet, Milanese, schnitzel, or katsu, the basic principles are the same. This is not to say that all cutlets taste alike; indeed, there are a myriad of possibilities in the meats (or vegetables) used, the breading material, and the fat chosen for frying. One Taste staffer likes to mix grated Parmesan or Pecorino into the breading, while Alton Brown adds crushed salt and vinegar potato chips for his chicken Parmesan. You can add herbs or spices to the breading for added pizzazz.

If all this talk of breading and frying has you in the cutlet-making mood, search the EYB Library using the terms linked above to find hundreds of different takes on the subject. Here are a few select recipes to get you started:

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