Say Goodbye to Boring Breaded Cutlets

Rachael Ray’s class on the Food Network Kitchen app has the best trick for adding tons of flavor.

December 23, 2019

Host Rachael Ray's pork cutlets with German cucumber salad, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Scott Gries

Scott Gries

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One of my go-to family meals is breaded chicken cutlets. They’re quick and simple — and everyone loves them. But if I’m being honest, sometimes they can be a bit ... boring.

And also? My fingers get gloppy (and gross) moving the raw cutlets from four to eggs to breadcrumbs — and I start to get a little panicky about cross-contamination.

That’s why I’m so glad I watched Rachael Ray teach me How to Bread Cutlets in a video class on the new Food Network Kitchen app. Rachael shared a ton of cutlet-breading tips and tricks but these are the three that I am incorporating pronto — because they address my most bothersome cutlet-making issues.

Banish Boring

Rachael adds a few ingredients to spice up her cutlets. She sprinkles her meat with salt, white pepper, black pepper and her “secret” ingredient: granulated onion. She seasons her flour with salt. She whisks a “nice fat squirt” of Dijon mustard into her eggs. And to the breadcrumbs, she adds lemon zest and freshly grated nutmeg — plus a pinch of the same seasoning mix she puts on her meat. “I like to put a little surprise seasoning in every layer of flavor,” she says.

Skip the Glop

When I dredge my chicken, I generally use bowls for the three elements (flour, eggs and breadcrumbs). But in the video, Rachael uses large sheet pans. She doesn’t mention this as a tip, but I can see that the broader surface area means you can work from the top, placing your meat into each element (and then flipping it) without getting your fingers deep into a bowl. Rachael shakes or drips off the excess flour/eggs/breadcrumbs as she works and gently pats the flat cut of meat to help the breadcrumbs stick to every bit of it. And the cutlet comes out perfectly covered — and her fingertips look nearly glop-free!

Avoid Cross-Contamination

Rachael uses a meat-safe cutting board — and she handles things like spices first so that she doesn’t have to go back and forth between the meat (or eggs, now that you mention it) and things like her spice jars. “I don’t want to cross-contaminate by handling raw meat and then a jar that I’m going to put back in my pantry, for instance,” she says. Good call, Rachael!

I got lots of other great ideas about breading cutlets from Rachael’s how-to video on the Food Network Kitchen app and you can too. Sign up now and you’ll be able to drop in for all of Rachael’s classes and get more tips, tricks and recipes.

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