Make Ahead: Breaded Chicken Cutlets
When you prepare crisp, golden cutlets in advance and stockpile them in your freezer, you open up all kinds of options for speedy dinners. To kick off our new Make Ahead series about shortcuts and time-savers, here are delicious baked alternatives to breaded cutlets from a box. The best part? They go from frozen to perfection in a mere 15 minutes.
Everyone -- kids and adults alike -- loves breaded cutlets. Since these are baked, they're lower in fat and much less messy than pan-fried versions.
IT'S IN THE BAG
Make plenty -- doubling or tripling the recipe as desired -- and store them in stacks in the freezer. Then cook as many as needed.
These cutlets let you prepare a more complicated dish -- like chicken Parmesan -- in well under an hour.
The cutlets bake so quickly that the breading doesn't have a lot of time to brown. Pretoasting the panko assures a golden color and delightful crunch.
We baked the cutlets on a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet, to allow air to circulate under them. If your oven has a convection setting, use it -- that also will add crispiness.
Use your cutlets for Chicken Parmesan or in the Don't Miss recipes, above right.