Thyme-and-Sesame-Crusted Chicken Thighs

thyme-and-sesame-crusted cutlets with copper cutlery
Photo: Justin Walker
Prep Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
45 mins

Chicken thighs are butterflied into cutlets, then dredged in panko breadcrumbs seasoned with thyme and toasted sesame seeds. Serve the golden beauties alongside an arugula salad tossed with celery and cherry tomatoes.


  • ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 3 large eggs

  • 3 cups panko breadcrumbs

  • ¼ cup white sesame seeds, toasted

  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, formed into cutlets

  • Safflower oil, for frying (about 1 1/4 cups)


  1. Whisk flour with a pinch each of salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Whisk eggs in a separate dish. Stir together panko, sesame seeds, and thyme in a third shallow dish. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in eggs, allowing excess to drip off, and coat with panko mixture, patting to adhere.

  2. Pour enough oil into a large skillet to come about 1/4 inch up sides. Heat over medium-high until a panko crumb dropped in sizzles instantly. Add cutlets in a single layer (work in batches, if necessary); cook until undersides are golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes (if browning too quickly, reduce heat). Flip and cook until second side is brown and chicken is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack to drain. Season with salt and serve.

Cook's Notes

How to Make a Quick Cutlet

Turn thigh skinned-side down. Find the thickest area, and cut a slit into it using a sharp chef's knife held parallel to the cutting board.

Fold the thigh open like the pages of a book. Boneless, skinless thighs are a form of dark meat, so they stay tender during long cook times when breasts turn tough.

Cover it with a piece of plastic wrap, and pound to an even thickness of about 1/4 inch.

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