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Though I don’t eat fast food, I still cling fondly to my childhood memories of crispy chicken sandwiches. Seriously, who doesn’t? Fortunately, you can make delicious chicken cutlets easily at home – no need to run to Mickey D’s.

If you like heat, these can be made spicy by adding cayenne or chili powder to the flour. Though I used white meat, you can use dark meat if you prefer. Also, if you can’t find cutlets at the store, follow these instructions to make your own.

Serve over arugula with grated Parmesan (my choice) or plop on a hamburger bun with the works to make a spectacular sandwich. Get creative! Makes eight cutlets.

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Ingredients:
1/3 cup white all-purpose flour
3 cups breadcrumbs
8 thin chicken cutlets – about 1 1/2 pounds total
Salt and pepper
Canola oil for frying
Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)

1. Whisk eggs together in a wide, shallow dish. Place flour in another shallow dish and lightly season with salt and pepper. Spread breadcrumbs in a third shallow dish.

2. Pour oil to depth of half an inch in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. While the oil is heating, pat chicken dry, then dredge one cutlet in flour. Next, dip the cutlet in the egg, then coat in breadcrumbs, patting to adhere. Repeat process until all cutlets are done, shaking off excess as you go.

3. When the oil is shimmering, increase the heat a smidge, then work in batches: add one or two cutlets to the skillet and cook until chicken is browned on one side – about 4 minutes. Turn (using tongs!) and cook until browned throughout – about 2 to 3 minutes more.

A few notes: a. lower the heat if chicken browns too quickly. b. skim bread crumbs from oil with a slotted spoon in between batches. c. replenish oil in the skillet as necessary.

4. Drain chicken on paper towels; season with salt. Drizzle with lemon, if desired.

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