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delicious crispy golden brown chicken cutlets with a panko parmigiano basil crust

Basil Parmesan Panko-Crusted Chicken Breast

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  • Author: Kelly
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings depending on hunger level 1x


This golden brown cripsy chicken recipe is full of Italian flavors from fresh basil and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano panko crust. This chicken is loved by adults and kids alike. Plus, it makes the best chicken nuggets and chicken fingers


  • 4 to 6 chicken breast cutlets or filets
  • 2 cups plain Japanese panko bread crumbs (115g)
  • 1/2 ounce fresh basil, washed and torn (10g)
  • 1 1/2 ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (or Grana Padano) (45g)
  • 2 large eggs (100g)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose or 00 flour (65-70g)
  • salt to taste
  • grapeseed or peanut oil (or another neutral oil) for frying


  1. Make the basil-parm breadcrumb coating. In the bowl of a food processor add the bread crumbs and grated cheese and pulse a few times to combine, add the torn basil leaves, and pulse until the mixture is slightly green in color and the basil is finely chopped and well incorporated. Place the breadcrumb mixture into a medium bowl and set aside. *if you don’t have a food processor, just chop the basil as finely as possible and stir it into the breadcrumb-cheese mixture.
  2. Set up the breading station. In a separate medium bowl, add the eggs and whisk well to combine until smooth and set aside. In another separate shallow bowl, add the flour and set aside.
  3. Bread the chicken (1. flour 2. egg 3. breadcrumbs). Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dip each piece into the flour being sure to cover the entire surface on all sides, and gently tap off any excess flour and slide it into the beaten eggs. Turn the chicken over to completely coat and tap it gently on the side of the bowl to remove any excess egg. Add the chicken to the panko breadcrumb mixture and using your “dry hand”, turn the chicken over to coat all sides with the breadcrumb mixture pressing down each time to ensure good coverage. Place the breaded chicken on a platter or cutting board and repeat with the remaining pieces. 
  4. Fry the chicken. Add about 1/2 to 1 inch of cooking oil to a cast-iron or other heavy-bottomed skillet and heat to medium-high.  Once the oil is hot (but not smoking), working in batches, gently place the chicken pieces into the pan in a single layer, salt them, and fry until golden brown on the first side. Flip them over and salt the again and continue cooking (checking periodically with tongs for color) until golden brown and cooked through. Remove them to a paper towel-lined plate, sprinkle with parsley or torn basil, and a little more grated Parmigiano and serve immediately.  Enjoy!


  • If you have really thick chicken breasts, use a mallet or rolling pin to pound out the chicken to make the breasts the same thickness all the way across. This allows the chicken to cook more evenly and more quickly too.
  • MealPrep: Make this chicken ahead of time by breading it and freezing it on a sheet pan for 30 minutes to 1 hour and then placing it between layers of wax paper in an airtight freezer container.  When ready to eat, thaw the cutlets, fingers, or nuggets until no longer frozen but still cold and fry as instructed.
  • If you love crispy chicken but don’t like basil, substitute it with your favorite fresh or dried herbs like parsley, oregano, or a blend of Italian seasonings.
  • Make chicken fingers or nuggets and pack them into your kid’s lunchbox just be sure to make sure they stay cold until ready to eat.  Add a tortilla wrap or slice of bread to make a chicken sandwich or wrap.
  • What if I don’t have a food processor? If you don’t have a food processor, just chop the basil as finely as possible and stir it into the breadcrumb-cheese mixture.

How to Store and Reheat Panko-Crusted Chicken Breast Filets

How to store uncooked panko-crusted chicken cutlets, nuggets, strips, or filets. Add fully breaded chicken pieces to a parchment-lined baking sheet in single layers (not touching). Pop them into the freezer until completely frozen solid and then add them to an airtight container or sealable bag with parchment, or wax paper in between slices. When ready to fry, pull them out of the freezer, uncover them, and allow them to rest at room temperature just until no longer frozen. Shallow-fry chicken in a preheated skillet with a little oil, or in an air fryer as indicated. 

How to store cooked panko-crusted chicken cutlets, nuggets, strips, or filets. Allow cooked chicken to cool completely, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days at 40°F /4.4°C or lower temperatures. Reheat in a pan on medium heat, in a microwave (not ideal) for a minute or 2. You may also reheat chicken cutlets at 400°F/ 205°C in a preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until heated through. 

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Meat + Chicken
  • Method: Skillet
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 chicken breast
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