Weeknight Chicken has a simple goal: deliver to you, hot and delicious, a plate of pan-fried, golden-brown chicken cutlets so you can relax a little and enjoy the evening, even during the midst of a busy week. It’s a worthy goal indeed, and one in which it succeeds. Each bite has the juicy chicken wrapped in a crisp, cheesy, and zesty coating just waiting for the right side dish to pair it with. Or maybe you’ll place Weeknight Chicken on a nice bed of salad. Really, Weeknight Chicken is as flexible as it needs to be to make your life easy and tasty!

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  • 4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 cup parmesan, freshly grated
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • vegetable oil, as needed for pan-frying
  • lemon wedges, optional, for serving


Step 1 –Using a sharp knife, cut the chicken breasts in half crosswise.

Step 2 –Lay the chicken halves between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and, on a cutting board, flatten the chicken to 1/4-inch-thickness using a meat tenderizer or a rolling pin.

Step 3 –Season the chicken with the salt and the pepper.

Step 4 –Place the eggs and the flour in 2 separate shallow bowls.

Step 5 –In a third shallow bowl, combine the panko, the parmesan, the lemon zest, the cayenne, the salt, and the pepper.

Step 6 –Working one at a time, dip the chicken cutlets into the flour, then the eggs, then the panko mixture, pressing as needed to coat.

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Step 7 –In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil.

Step 8 –Add the chicken and cook until golden and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side. Work in batches as needed and add more oil as needed.

Step 9 –Serve with the lemon wedges.