Chicken cutlets are a favorite among many households for entrees and snack time. You can choose many items to bread the cutlets, from cornflakes to bread crumbs and even potato chips. But is it a good idea to bread the chicken cutlets before you are ready to cook them?
Yes, there are significant benefits to breading chicken cutlets ahead of time. The breading dries out, making a crispier crust. We recommend breading them a day or two in advance for the best results.
Please keep reading to find out more about why it is better to bread the chicken in advance. We also offer storage tips and tips for even crispier chicken cutlets. There are other tricks and advice you will find most valuable.
Why Bread the Chicken Cutlets In Advance?
There are significant advantages to preparing chicken cutlets early. One of the best reasons is convenience; it saves time when you are ready to cook them. It relieves the stress of last-minute rushing, which can cause mishaps.
By staying on top of everything, all you will have to do is put them in the pan and cook them. It works in your favor when pressed for time after a hard day at work, and there are other meals to cook with the chicken, like mashed potatoes and gravy or veggies.
Another reason to bread the chicken early is that the end result is better. The breading will stay on the meat better, leaving less mess to clean up.
Everyone likes juicy chicken, but soggy chicken does not sound too appetizing. Cooking it right away will leave the breading soggy. The last reason for early preps is the moisture will evaporate out of the breading if done early, so the crust will have that crispiness everyone desires.
The Best Time to Bread Cutlets
On average, the best time to bread cutlets is about one to two days before cooking them. Times vary on how fresh the chicken is when purchased and how well the meat is stored once breaded.
The option is also available to bread the chicken in the morning or when you are ready to cook the meal up to two to three hours before cooking. As long as the moisture has time to evaporate, the breaded crust on the chicken cutlets will come out crispy.
Doing them too far in advance will have the same effect as if it is breaded before cooking. It will also leave the chicken a bit dry because it will draw out the juices from the chicken if kept in the fridge for too long.
Breading and Storing the Chicken Cutlets
Once the chicken cutlets are breaded, it is best stored in a Ziploc bag. Be sure to squeeze as much air out of the bag before sealing it by pressing down on the chicken and moving the hand upward while sealing the bag.
If Ziploc bags are not available, then use an air-tight container. Keeping them air-tight is the secret to keeping the breaded cutlets fresh.
Some people may wonder if frying them before is a good idea and saving it for a later date in a Ziploc bag. The answer is no; it is not a good idea because the breading around the chicken will turn soggy, and it is almost impossible to get the same crispiness.
Special Note: If the breaded meat has to be fried in advance, the best way to reheat it is with a bit of oil in a pan (don’t overdo it) and put it in the oven until the crispiness comes back. It will not be the same, but it will still be good to eat.
For better results, store them raw and breaded. If there are no other options and you have to fry them and keep them, the meat is still good with the proper storage.
Let the chicken cool down before storing it in the fridge. The drastic temperature change will spoil the meat faster.
Freezing is another option, but we do not recommend this. It is only a last resort and will not harm the meat, but it will make the breading soggy when thawed.
Adding a Second Layer of Breading
If the breading is too soggy, add another layer of breading. This will ensure a crispy crust when cooking. To some people, this may sound like it is defeating the purpose of preparing the chicken cutlets ahead of time.
Sometimes mistakes happen, and it calls for improvising. Adding the second layer is the last resort if the chicken stays too long in the fridge.
The second coating will come out crispy, and it will also cook the layer underneath along with the chicken.
The second layer does not have to be as thick as the first. It will have to be thin to cook the layer underneath without problems. Ensure the chicken is cooked to a safe temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit using a meat thermometer.
Tips to Remember
There are times when cooking may not go as planned. You may run across some problems, and we have some solutions to help you in the process. Follow these tips in case things do not go the way you planned:
- There are times too much of the breading will fall off while preparing it. The breading will remain intact if you bread it about thirty minutes to an hour before cooking.
- If the breading falls off while cooking in a frying pan, that means the temperature needs adjustment to higher heat. Turn the heat up, and the breading will sear to the chicken. Just be careful not to burn them. You want to hear the meat sizzle while cooking.
- If the outside is burning before the center of the chicken is cooked, finish it off in the oven at a low and slow heat. This will prevent them from getting burned on the outside and edges.
- When cooking a lot of chicken cutlets, cook them in batches and place them in the oven at a low setting to keep them warm. This will allow you to finish cooking the batches without letting the chicken get cold.
How long can I keep the raw breaded chicken in the fridge?
The longest is three days. After this, the chicken will start to go bad. Bacteria will start to form and cause food poisoning if they are kept too long in the fridge.
How do I serve chicken cutlets?
It can be served by itself or with a dipping sauce. Sandwiches are another option, or you can melt cheese on top. Some people like them with tomato sauce and basil.
Good country meal ideas are serving the chicken cutlets with mashed potatoes and gravy, either white peppered, or brown.
How can I cook chicken cutlets?
They can cook in the oven, air fryer, or pan fry. Be sure not to cook the breaded chicken cutlets in grease or in a deep fryer because they will come out greasy and soggy. If using a pan frying method, lightly coat the pan so that the breading or chicken does not stick to the pan and burn.