crispy garlic chicken cutlets

I bought The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2009 a while ago. It’s a magazine-sized supplement they put out every year, and of course it has some great new recipes in it. This is the first one I’ve made from it, and these Crispy Garlic Chicken Cutlets were everything they promised to be. I’ve never made chicken this crispy in my life, and it was wonderfully garlicky without warding off vampires for miles around. And it was a pretty quick weeknight dinner with some herbed lemon butter spaghetti. Adam has requsted that this be added to The List, my rotation of really good recipes that require repeat appearances.

Crispy Garlic Chicken Cutlets

Serves 3 to4
**As usual, I halved everything for 2 people. I actually sliced 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts in half horizontally, so I had 3 good cutlets and pieces of a 4th from a not-so-excellent slicing job. It was more than enough.

4 garlic cloves, minced, plus 6 cloves peeled and smashed
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I halved this and used my Carter & Cavero garlic olive oil)
6 thin, boneless, skinless chicken cutlets (about 1.5 lbs), trimmed
3 slices high-quality white sandwich bread, torn into large pieces (this is to make breadcrumbs, I just used nice store-bought breadcrumbs from Whole Foods)
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3 large egg whites
1 tablespoon garlic powder
4 teaspoons cornstarch
salt and pepper

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees (I didn’t need to do this for 2 people). Combine the minced garlic, 3 tablespoons of the oil, and the cutlets in a zipper-lock bag and refrigerate while preparing the remaining ingredients.


2. Pulse the bread in a food processor until coarsely ground. Bake the breadcrumbs on a baking sheet until dry, about 2o minutes (I skipped this whole step).

3. Spread the flour in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, whisk the egg whites until foamy. Combine the breadcrumbs, garlic powder, and cornstarch in a third shallow dish. Remove the cutlets from the bag and season with salt and pepper. One at a time, coat the cutlets lightly with flour, dip in the egg whites, and dredge in the crumbs, pressing to adhere. Place the cutlets on a wire rack over a baking sheet and let dry for 5 minutes.

breaded cutlets

3. Heat 1/2 cup of the oil and 3 of the smashed garlic cloves in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until the garlic is lightly browned, about 4 minutes. (Heat the oil and the garlic together, don’t add the garlic after the oil is hot).

garlic oil

Discard the garlic and fry 3 of the cutlets until crisp and golden (I was able to fit my 3.5 cutlets in the pan), about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and place in the warm oven. Discard the oil, wipe out the skillet, and repeat with the remaining oil, garlic, and cutlets. Serve.