Chicken Cutlet Recipe

It was one of those days when my refrigerator was nearly empty and the freezer only had 1 pound of chicken breasts in its premises. Hesitant to go to a grocery store alone with a baby and a pregnant belly, I searched for ways of utilizing the chicken I had. My cousin Guzal, who lived in another state at the time, recommended to make these delicious cutlets. I checked for the ingredients and surprisingly, had everything I needed for the recipe! It is very easy to make and you will be surprised about how good it tastes with these ingredients.

Chicken Cutlet Recipe

In Russian they are called “Pozharskie Kotleti” (Пожарские Котлеты). These cutlets have quite an interesting history. According to one rumor, inventor of these famous cutlets was  Darya Evdokimovna Pozharskaya (from the memoirs of the German ambassador to Russia). One Russian Czar (probably Alexander I) stayed in the town “Ostashkovo”, where he ordered a breakfast at the Pozharsky Inn. Order called for veal cutlets. The owner, husband of Darya, was in despair since he couldn’t get quality veal in such a short time. At the same time, he couldn’t disobey. Darya suggested him to swap the veal with chicken and serve it without giving out the details. Pozharsky didn’t see any other way. Using fresh chicken meat made more sense than serving old veal. He then proceeded with this task. Pozharsky decided to coat the cutlets with bread crumbs. Fried them up in butter and served to Czar.

Czar loved the dish. He decided to reward the innkeeper for such a delightful breakfast. Fearing of being exposed, Pozharsky decided to confess. He told Czar what went on in the kitchen and begged for his life. Czar was pleased with the honesty of the host and decided that the reward was indeed well-earned. From that day on, chicken cutlets became a part of the royal menu, under the name of Pozharskie Kotleti (meaning Pozharsky’s cutlets).

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken breast (or 1 lb readily ground chicken)
  • 7-8 oz. plain wheat bread (I use Italian wheat)
  • 1/2 cup of warm milk
  • 6 Tbsp of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs, use more if needed
  • 1 clove of minced garlic (optional)
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil (optional)
  • 4 oz mozzarella or Muenster cheese cut in 2 in long, o,5 inch wide strips (optional)

Directions:

In a small bowl soak the bread in warm milk. Set aside until needed.

Chicken Cutlets #1 Chicken Cutlets #2

I have a meat grinder and prefer to grind the chicken breast myself. Grind the chicken first and then grind the previously soaked bread right after the chicken. For better and more tender cutlets, grind chicken+bread once again. If you are using store-bought ground chicken, add the bread and using a chopper chop both ingredients well. If you do not have a chopper, just mince both ground chicken and the bread well with your hands.

Chicken Cutlets #3

Chicken Cutlets #4 Chicken Cutlets #5

Transfer ingredients to a bigger bowl and add salt and pepper. If you want to use minced garlic, this is the time to add it to the mixture. Using your hands, thoroughly combine ingredients well.

Chicken Cutlets #6 Chicken Cutlets #7

Pre-heat the oven at 350F.

Ground chicken is pretty sticky. At times, it gets very hard to shape the cutlets with bare hands. I always keep a little bowl with water by my side, while working with these cutlets. Simply soak your hands in the water, grab a portion of the meat equal to a size between a golf ball and a tennis ball. Shape it so that it fits the strip of the cheese, press the cheese in the middle, cover the sides and create a patty. Make sure that cheese is not exposed.

Chicken Cutlets #9 Chicken Cutlets #10

Chicken Cutlets #11 Chicken Cutlets #12

Coat the cutlets with bread crumbs from all sides and place ready patties on a separate plate.

Chicken Cutlets #13 Chicken Cutlets #14

On medium-low heat, melt the butter on the skillet. Using vegetable oil is optional. I only add it to prevent the butter from getting black. As you probably know, butter tends to burn faster. Subsequently, the dark color will pass on to the second batch of the cutlets. Adding a little vegetable oil will more or less prevent the butter from turning dark. If you decide to use oil, once the butter is melted, add the oil and mix it together with the butter. Turn the heat up to the medium (5 in electric stove tops) and start gathering patties on the skillet.

Chicken Cutlets #8 Chicken Cutlets #15

Fry for 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Once the patties are done cooking for 3 minutes on each side, place them in an oven-safe container. Put the container in the oven for 15 minutes uncovered. Bake for 15 minutes to fully cook the cutlets.

Chicken Cutlets #16 Chicken Cutlets #17

When time is up, take out the dish from the oven and serve the cutlets with your favorite side course. For us, it is a nice salad, pickled cucumbers, buck wheat, mashed potatoes or home-made fries.

Chicken Cutlets #18

Bon Appetit!

Comments

  1. MMM! Looks delicious! Thank you, I will try definitely.

  2. Myasorubkani qattan olgansiz Hilola? Mangayaaam!

  3. In spite of studying Russia and Russians for many years and visiting Russia three times, I have never eaten these famous cutlets. Your beautiful photo and meticulous explanation made me want to run off to the store for chicken to make them!

    • Lola Mansurov says:

      Ah, here is your chance :) Your story is impressive!!! I am so glad to meet people who dare themselves to do something bigger! Was it tough to study Russian?

      • I had wonderful Russian ex-patriate teachers at Univ of Washington. They made it interesting and a year living in Russkiy Dom made me fluent. It helped that I had studied French and Latin before Russian. It’s not much like English, that’s for sure.

        • Lola Mansurov says:

          Oh, wow! :) I am sure it was a great experience!

          French, Latin, Russian, English…pretty impressive! You have some skills girl :D

  4. Dear Lola, I’ve tried this recipe with Turkey fillets last night. It was yummy. Thanks again! Sevgiler :)

    • Lola Mansurov says:

      Irem, Turkey is a perfect sub for this recipe. I am glad it came out yummy :)
      Let me know if you have recipes in mind, which you would like to see in my blog. I will gladly work on them.

      Turkish kitchen is so rich. I want to learn so much! I love your pastas (cakes)! Where are you now?

  5. I love love love your step by step recipes. Thank you for sharing:) I enjoy reading every single recipe along with your stories. Keep on rocking the kitchen:)

    Bugun pozharsky qilamiz ekanda, kelila:) sevdim blogizni
    aytganday tezroq tuzalib keting, shifo bersin

  6. I made these for dinner tonight. Delicious! I am going to try chicken kiev, and cordon bleu with the recipe as well. These were so tasty- even my son Mr. Picky LOVED them! Thanks- we’ll be adding this to our weekly menu!

    • Lola Mansurov says:

      Thank you, Jen :) I am very, very happy your family enjoyed this chicken. I have couple of other recipes of chicken schnitzels and chicken kiyev-like patties. If you liked this recipe, you will love the other ones!

  7. Wow excellent food! Thank you so much Lola, i am from Kyrgyzstan and my husband found recipes for me and all are my kitchen, now i am overseas in Kuwait, so everyday is pleasure to look something from your recipes and make something for dinner.
    Ya ochen blagodarno vam.
    Zarina.

    • Lola Mansurov says:

      Thank you for visiting our blog, Zarina! I am very glad that my recipes could come handy in times when you are away from your homeland! Please visit us more often. Let me know if you need instructions for other recipes you want to cook.

  8. Hello, Could you use a food processor for this recipe instead of the grinder? Thank you!

  9. this stunning and mouth watering makes me make the cutlets for dinner but i have already made the cheese balls.This makes me take the meat of sacrifice and make cutlets now

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