For me, few things are more enjoyable to eat than a simple chicken cutlet sandwich. Perfectly fried with those crisp, salty edges, topped off with lettuce, tomato, thinly sliced red onion, and in this case, lemon-basil mayo. How can you not love that? I’m fine with regular mayo honestly, but I love lemon juice on a cutlet, so I thought this was a semi-interesting twist.
First things first: make sure to get a little breading station set up. That’s my ONE gripe with chicken cutlets; they’re not hard to make, but they’re a process (and a semi-messy one). I dredge my cutlets in seasoned flour first, then egg, then breadcrumbs. So you need 3 large-yet-shallow bowls (or plates) for each dredging ingredient, then a clean plate for the finished (but still raw) cutlets. THEN, you need another clean plate lined with paper towels for the freshly fried cutlets.
SIGH. But trust me, it’s worth it.
A few tips!
Add a little water to your eggs if you feel you don’t have enough and don’t want to waste another egg just for breading.
I added Kinder’s Cracked Pepper & Lemon seasoning salt to the flour dredge, but feel free to add any lemon-pepper seasoning you want. You also don’t have to use it at all, but I always add a little bit of salt/pepper and sometimes onion powder to the flour when making cutlets. Seasoning is key, regardless.
I add a bit of parmesan cheese mixed in with the bread crumbs too. No one is ever mad at that. If you’re vegan, use your favorite parmesan substitute or a little nutritional yeast. Again, chicken isn’t the most flavorful meat so I like to season each part if I can.
For the frying, I never measure exactly, but you want about an inch deep of vegetable oil in the pan. Too much and your cutlets will get soggy. When the oil is hot, drop a few breadcrumbs into the oil – if they sizzle, that’s how you know it’s ready to fry!
I used these frozen Ciabatta rolls from FreshDirect Express (same day delivery!). They come in a pack of 6, but I only used 4 of them. Save the others in the freezer!
Last tip before we dive in: use fresh basil for the mayo. I think it adds a sweet/herby flavor that dried basil doesn’t accomplish quite as well. You can also use vegan mayo, I love Sir Kensington’s!
Chicken cutlet sandwiches with lemon-basil mayo
1 lb thinly sliced chicken cutlets
3/4 cup flour
1 tbsp Kinder’s Lemon-Pepper Seasoning
1 tsp Kosher salt
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese
Vegetable Oil (for frying)
1 lemon, sliced in half (for the cutlets and mayo)
3-4 Ciabatta Rolls (or your preferred sandwich vehicle)
1/3 cup mayo
1 tsp lemon juice
6-7 basil leaves, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
2 Plum tomatoes, sliced
1/2 Red Onion, thinly sliced
Lettuce (any kind works)
- Make the lemon-basil mayo! Add the mayo to a small bowl, then the thinly sliced basil, lemon juice and salt. Stir together until well combined and set aside or put back in the fridge. The longer it sits, the flavors will meld together better, so I always make it ahead of time.
- Set up your breading station! 1 – Flour seasoned with the lemon-pepper seasoning & 1 tsp salt, 2- eggs mixed with a little water, 3 – panko breadcrumbs and italian breadcrumbs with parmesan cheese.
- Dredge the cutlets in the flour first and shake off any excess. Then add to the egg/water mixture and make sure it’s all covered. Then add to the breadcrumbs and pat down gently on both sides for even coating. Set breaded cutlets aside on a clean plate.
- Add vegetable oil to a large skillet, you want about an inch of oil in the frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot (see tips above!) add 2 cutlets at a time and fry about 3-4 mins per side. You’ll know they’re ready to flip when the edges are nice and golden brown. Line a large, clean plate with paper towels and put the fried cutlets on there when they’re finished. Squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice on top while they’re still hot!
- Slice and toast your bread, then spread a bit of the lemon-basil mayo on each of the insides. Top with a chicken cutlet (you can cut it to make it fit), red onion, tomato, and lettuce. Close the sandwich and BOOM! Simple perfection.