Breaded Veal or Chicken Cutlets
Cotoletta is usually served with a lemon wedge to cut the fried-in-butter goodness, but after all that work to get the perfectly golden, crisp breadcrumb coating, some may think it’s a bit counterproductive as it immediately turns your work soggy. Better would be to serve it with a glass of wine — a sparkling Franciacorta would do the trick. Also, while veal is the classic – this same method of breadcrumb coating is great with pork chops or chicken too.
For 4 people:
• 4 veal chops, such as bone-in rib eye I use chicken breasts pounded to ½ inch or less (cooks faster and fills the plate)
• 2 eggs
• 1 ½ cups breadcrumbs
• 1 cup clarified butter- see below for recipe- less likely to burn this way
• Pinch of salt
Pat the veal cutlets well with kitchen paper so they are as dry as possible and set aside while preparing the coating. In a shallow bowl, crack the eggs and beat. In another bowl, place the breadcrumbs.
Dust the cutlets first with flour, then dip in the beaten egg, letting any excess egg drip off before placing in the breadcrumbs to coat entirely. Pat down the breadcrumbs well.
Place the clarified butter in a skillet over medium heat. When the butter begins turning a caramel color, place the cutlets in the butter and fry until golden brown. Turn, the cutlets, and continue frying until cooked through, about 6-8 minutes per side – less if you have thin cutlets. You may need to cook just two at a time; if doing this, use half the butter for every pair of cutlets.
Remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to rest the meat. You may want to place it somewhere to keep warm, such as in a low oven (or an oven that was heated and then turned off), but do not cover it or place it directly on a plate as it will become soggy. Season with salt and serve warm with a wedge of lemon (if you’re going that way) or a glass of wine.
Essentially, a veal cutlet is passed through beaten egg, then breadcrumbs and the cutlet is fried in a shamelessly large amount of clarified butter until crisp. It’s easy to make and good results are achieved when following these few golden rules:
• Although traditionally cotoletta alla milanese is made with just egg and breadcrumbs, passing it through flour before the egg helps to keep on the breadcrumb coating.
• Don’t salt the meat or put it in the coating as it will lead to the breadcrumbs falling off. Season at the end, preferably with nice, flaky salt.
• Leaving the breadcrumbed cutlet to rest in the fridge for at least thirty minutes before frying will result in a crisper coating.
• Use clarified butter. It’s really easy to make but you can definitely do it without
• Pan fry on medium heat. Too cool will result in a soggy breadcrumb coating and too hot will burn. If you notice your pan getting too hot, adding some cold butter is a good way to even out the temperature quickly.
• As soon as you put the chop in the pan, do not touch it until it’s ready to turn. One turn only. Messing about with it while cooking can ruin the coating.