Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Lemon Poppy Creme Fraiche


It should be fairly easy to source pre sliced cutlets, but on the off chance all you can find are boneless skinless chicken breasts, you can quickly turn them into cutlets at home. Place one breast on a cutting board and slice it in half (on the plane that is parallel to your cutting board) creating two thin wide cutlets from each breast.

Active Time: 45 Mins

Total Time: 45 mins



  • 2 medium shallots
  • 1 bunch chives
  • 3 lemons
  • 5 garlic cloves


  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 7.5 ounces creme fraiche


  • 4 boneless chicken cutlets or 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 large eggs

1. Make the lemon poppy sauce:

  • Finely chop 2 medium shallots.
  • Thinly slice 1 whole bunch of chives (yeah! It’s a lot of chives!)
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium. Add the shallots, 3 tablespoons poppy seeds, and a big pinch of salt and cook, stirring often until the shallots are softened, 5-6 minutes.
  • Add 8 ounces creme fraiche, and stir well to incorporate. Bring just to a bare simmer, and simmer 1 minute. Remove from the heat, and finely grate the zest of one lemon into the sauce. Stir in 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard, the juice of 1-2 lemons (do this to taste–can be as lemony as you like!) and season the sauce well with salt and pepper; stir to combine. Remove from the heat, cover and keep warm.

2. Bread the cutlets:

  • If you’re working with whole boneless skinless chicken breasts, place them on a cutting board and slice them each in half, creating 4 cutlets. Pat them dry with paper towels and season the cutlets all over with salt and pepper.
  • Set out 3 shallow bowls for dredging. To the first bowl, add 1 cup of flour.
  • To the second, beat 2 eggs and a splash of water until very homogenous. Finely grate 5 large garlic cloves into the eggs. Season with salt and pepper and whisk to combine.
  • To the third bowl, add 2 cups panko breadcrumbs.
  • Working one at a time, coat each cutlet in flour, tapping off excess. Drop it into the egg mixture and be sure it is evenly covered, letting excess drip off before adding it to the bowl of panko. Use your hands to pack the panko onto each cutlet so it gets full crispy coverage. Transfer to a large plate and repeat with remaining cutlets.

3. Fry the cutlets:

  • Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Fill a large skillet (11” or bigger) with enough vegetable oil to come up ½” (this is a shallow fry). Heat over medium until 350 degrees or until the oil sputters and sizzles when a piece or two of panko is added. Working two at a time, gently lower the cutlets into the hot oil. Cook, flipping once halfway through, until deeply golden brown and crisp all over (about 3 minutes per side). Transfer to the prepared rack and season all over with salt.
  • Repeat with the remaining cutlets, replenishing with more oil as needed to maintain ½”.

4. Serve:

  • Gently rewarm the creme fraiche sauce over medium low.
  • Place one cutlet on each plate. Generously spoon the lemon poppy sauce over each cutlet.
  • Divide the chives amongst each plate and serve with more lemon wedges!

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