Makes 12 cutlets
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Boneless chicken-breast halves sliced into cutlets are quick-cooking, low-fat, and versatile. Stock up when they go on sale, then prep a bunch of these golden, moist fillets as the simple make-ahead building blocks for easy meals on busy evenings, like Sweet Autumn Chicken or Japanese Chicken-and-Egg Rice Bowl.
The Art of Breading: What's the secret to creating a brown, crisp coating that won't slide off the cutlet during cooking? First, after rinsing the chicken, blot it until it's completely dry (moisture prevents breading from clinging). Second, pound the cutlet to a uniform thickness; this helps the meat brown evenly. Third, use panko crumbs. They crisp up better than the regular kind do.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
2 In a shallow dish, mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, and garlic powder. Spread the bread crumbs in another shallow dish.
Working with one cutlet at a time, season both sides of each one with salt and pepper, coat it with the mayo mixture, then the bread crumbs. Place the cutlets on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake the cutlets for 10 minutes, rotate the sheet, and continue baking until golden brown and cooked through, another 10 to 15 minutes.
Eat 'em right away: Serve sliced cutlets with Mexican-style shredded cheese and rinsed black beans over a green salad. Top with fruit salsa (we like the Newman's Own peach and pineapple varieties).
Freeze 'em for later: On a long sheet of waxed paper, place a cooled cutlet at one end and roll it so that both sides are covered. Repeat to form a stack. Store the stack in a ziplock freezer bag for up to three months.