Today was traumatizng. It’s called kindergarten.
How come no one prepared me for this? Talk about separation anxiety! I don’t know who was worse- me or Dillon. Definitely me. I’ve been uptight and stressed out all week in anticipation for this day. I haven’t slept a wink. Insomnia (I’m learning) results in bizarre behavior, including late night impulse purchases via infomercial. I now own the imfamous Brazil Butt Lift workout dvd. OK? What was I thinking? I have 60 days to look like a supermodel or my money back, guaranteed.
I’ll let you know how it goes…
The thing is, I was never really worried about Dillon. I knew he’d do fine on his first day of school because he loves school. I’m the one with the problem. The start of kindergarten marks the end of an era for us and that’s what I have to come to terms with. He’s growing up fast, and watching this unfold before my very eyes is gut wrenching. Absolutely gut wrenching…
In the pale morning sun, his little yellow school bus came down the street and whisked him away. Just like that- he was gone. I didn’t have time to cry. I didn’t have time to blink. I watched with wide eyes as his bus faded into the distance and thought, so this is kindergarten.
Jake and Jus weren’t too impressed either. And yes, he’s holding a basket.
I’ve always sought comfort in food.
Chicken cutlets happen to be a favorite of mine from childhood. Both of my grandmother(s) made them, my parents made them, and I make them at home. We all love chicken cutlets. I knew Dillon would like them for dinner, so in the late afternoon I made him a big platter. The methodical breading process, although messy and somewhat annoying, put my mind at ease and distracted me from the woes of parenthood. I found comfort in this.
Dillon likes his chicken with lemon, and I like mine piled high with juicy tomatoes and arugula.
There are 2 ways to prepare chicken cutlets: baked or fried.
My preferred method is to fry them. I’ve tried baking cutlets in the past, and I’ve never been able to get it right! My crust always comes out too blond and not crispy enough. Pan frying solves all of these problems (and that’s how mom did it).
The key to a really good crust is to cook the cutlets over low heat. To do this, gently warm 2 tbsp. of oil in a large skillet. Once the chicken goes in, reduce the heat to low. This will ensure that the cutlets won’t brown too quickly or burn. Plus, you won’t have to change out the oil for each batch which means you will ultimately use less.
When Dillon came home from school today, he had a huge smile on his face. I think it went well. Kindergarten might mark the beginning of a new journey for us, and honestly, I don’t know if I’ll ever get over watching the innocence of a child blossom and mature. But I can handle it. I have to. Besides, one day I’m going to wake up and he will be off to college! Good grief.
- Thinly sliced chicken cutlets are readily available in most grocery stores. However, if you prefer to save a couple of bucks you can do it yourself. Slice the chicken horizontally and pound with a meat mallet so that both halves are the same thickness.
- You’ll see in the recipe that I add herbs to the oil before frying. This adds great flavor to the chicken.
kindergarten + chicken cutlets
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 35 mins
- Yield: 4
- 1 1/2 lbs. thinly sliced chicken cutlets
- 1 egg
- 1 c. whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp. oil
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 6 sprigs of oregano
- lemon wedges
- rosemary and oregano sprigs
- In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over low heat.
- Crack the egg into a bowl adding a splash of water. Gently beat with a fork.
- Pour the breadcrumbs into shallow dish.
- Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Dip the chicken, one piece at a time, into the egg mixture.
- Dredge the chicken in the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess as you go. Repeat until you have coated all of the chicken.
- When the oil is hot, add half of the herbs to the pan. If they sizzle, you are ready to add the chicken (the herbs flavor the oil as well). Be sure not to overcrowd the skillet; work in batches. Add the rest of the herbs as you continue to cook.
- Fry the chicken for about 3 minutes per side, depending on how thick they are.
- Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any oil.
- To serve, arrange the chicken onto a platter. Garnish with lemon wedges and extra herbs.
carol sturbin says
I have been making chicken cutlets for 40 years. It is a family favorite. The last 2 years I have been frying them in coconut oil. They are delicious and not at all greasy. I also make quite a few at a time,flash freeze them on a cookie sheet, then put them in a plastic bag for another quick meal.
Julie @ Lovely Little Kitchen says
Emilie, what sweet pictures of your little one’s first day, and so glad he did well! Love this cozy space you’ve created here… just love everything about it! And how comforting are chicken cutlets? Pinning to try soon!
Hi Julie! Thank you so much. Boy, was it a rough day with tons of emotions. Funny how you just stopped by here- I was just checking out your almond apricot bars (I forget where I saw them!) and they look awesome. I’m on the hunt for school lunch snacks and I know my boys would love them. xx
connie raffa says
Chicken cutlets with lemon is the way grandma raffa use to serve them. DELICIOUS! My first day in kindergarten I kicked and bit the nun. After adjusting i loved school and learning new things. Auntie
Laney (Ortensia Blu) says
Food makes everything better! And see, you had nothing to worry about with Kindergarten…all of your angst was for naught. But you and Jake will remember his first day of Kindergarten forever. (We still talk my now college daughter’s first day of Kindergarten when she threw up all over her Winnie the Pooh in the middle of Mrs. R’s classroom:). xo
The first day of school – that’s a big day for all. What lovely photos , too! I adore chicken cutlets, as does Bart. He says his mom made them all the time, and I started making them for his lunch to take to work. Mind you, this was all the way up to his retirement a couple of years ago… some foods are ageless. Baked or fried, they make a terrific meal. In fact, I also like to use pork chops, pounded thinly. They make a nice switch, and are very tasty. Alla prossima!
Hi Adri! Yes, it certainly was a big day for all. I thought that I was prepared mentally, but I felt like I got side-swiped! I’m still recovering ;)
How adorable that you made Bart chicken cutlets all the way up to retirement. You see? Everyone loves chicken cutlets! Believe it or not, Dillon being only 5 years old likes them for his school lunch as well. Even in preschool, I sent him with chicken cutlet on a soft roll with lemon. He never complained. It will be interesting to see how long that lasts until he starts to want what all of the other kids have. You know how that goes…
From time to time, my husband will ask for the pork version as that’s what he ate growing up. A nice switch indeed. Enjoy the weekend! xx
Thank you for the great recipe.
You’re welcome! I hope you get a chance to make the recipe- enjoy! :)
My little chicken had his first day of kindergarten yesterday. It was intense..the end/beginning of something. I keep wondering what he is doing at every minute of the day…not for the faint of heart I tell you!
Ahhh, your little chicken- too cute! I can totally relate to how you feel, Jesse. Intense is the best way to describe it. Watching my little guy get on that bus (with his big old back pack) made me feel like I was losing a part of his innocence, and I don’t know if I’ll ever get over that. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart that’s for sure! Thank you so much for sharing your little moment with me. It helps to know that others are just as weepy as me ;) Big hugs xx
Pamela Green says
I agree, baking the chicken cutlets never gets them to look very browned, always far too light. I hope your son is enjoying his first week!
Right? I’ve experimented with so many different baking methods and I’m starting to think that it’s me! Maybe I’m the problem? The closest I’ve come to a crispy baked crust was to place the chicken on top of a wire rack and then onto a rimmed baking sheet. Apparently, the air circulates underneath the chicken to crisp the bottom side. I’m still not sold! ;)
And yes, so far so good in school. Thanks for asking Pam! xx
I love following your blog! I am also part of the Golden Earthworm CSA, so I definitely get inspired from all of your recipes. I’m drooling over these chicken cutlets. I sometimes have a hard time getting all of my crusts to brown the same, so reducing the heat is a good solution. And adding herbs to the oil is a great idea!
Hi Stephanie! You’re a member of Golden Earthworm as well? How fantastic! I am loving our vegetable share this year. In June, we visit their farm for strawberry picking and then head over to the beach. It is a real treat.
As for the chicken cutlets, I tried for the longest time to perfect browning the crust. You’ll see that reducing the heat really does help and you won’t get a ton of those brown bits in your oil. Adding fresh herbs make it even better- I’m trying to use what’s left in my garden before it gets cold. Have a wonderful weekend! :)