Growing up, this crispy chicken escalope was a dish my dad always made for us because it was one of his favourites. Since the chicken is cut into thinner "escalope" pieces, it cooks really quickly and stays juicy. This meal is ready in 30 minutes and uses just a few pantry ingredients.
What is Chicken Escalope?
The term "escalope" is actually French, it is used to refer to any thin piece of meat that has typically been pounded. Usually, it is chicken or veal. The term, and the dish, likely made it's way to Lebanon and surrounding countries through French colonization.
Chicken escalope is just as common as chicken shawarma across the middle east, you'll find it at many restaurants and we made it at home growing up quite a lot. In Egypt, the same dish is referred to as "chicken panne".
The chicken breast is cut into two thinner pieces, which means they will cook faster and lose less moisture as they cook, resulting in a juicy fried escalope.
I did have a phase in my life where I thought dredging chicken was a chore, but when you prepare your dredging station, it really goes by so quickly. The frying won't take more than 10 to 15 minutes, so this meal truly does come together in about 30 minutes.
So, because of my kids' tastebuds, I've come around on dredged chicken dishes and now make them quite often.
What You Need to Make Chicken Escalope
You'll need full boneless chicken breast that is sliced into two pieces. If you find this difficult, there are many butchers or supermarkets that will sell them already made into an escalope. Other than the usual dredging ingredients (flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs), you'll also need simple seasoning.
I tend to stick to a classic blend of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. This generally goes down well with everyone. But if my kids can tolerate it, I'd definitely add more spice in the form of cayenne, and more dried herbs. You can also throw in some Italian seasoning.
How to Dredge and Fry Chicken Escalope
Start by preparing the dredging station. Mix the flour and seasoning in a shallow bowl. You'll notice that I recommend mixing the paprika, garlic powder and onion powder in the breadcrumbs instead of the flour when referring to the recipe card.
This is simply because when tested with seasoned breadcrumbs, it yielded a better flavour since is the outer layer. The flour should still be seasoned with salt and pepper though.
Use a wide and shallow bowl that fits the chicken escalopes.
Whisk the eggs well, also in a wide and shallow bowl.
Mix the breadcrumbs with the seasoning. Then, you're ready to prepare the chicken.
To cut the chicken into escalope pieces, place the chicken breast on a stable cutting board. Place your non-knife hand on top of the chicken, holding it down. Then, use a sharp chef's knife to slice it horizontally, starting with the thicker end.
Make cuts all the way through until the chicken breast separates into two pieces.
Place plastic cover over the chicken, then pound them using a meat mallet, a heavy pan, or a rolling pin. The chicken breasts should be half of their initial thickness.
Now it's time to dredge; flour, eggs and then breadcrumbs. Make sure you coat both sides of the chicken piece.
Once all the chicken escalopes are breaded, lay them on a large platter or sheet. Heat the oil to medium.
Once the oil is hot, drop 2 to 3 chicken escalope pieces, depending on the size of your pan. Do not overcrowd the pan, and cook them for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Remove and set on a paper towel lined plate to absorb any extra oil.
Serve! It's as simple as that.
Serving and Storage Suggestions
I always serve this dish with a side of fries; it's just a classic combination that can't be beat. I also love it with a light citrusy salad like the easy chopped Arabic salad, or a lemony malfouf (cabbage slaw) salad.
If you have any leftovers, I find that freezing them after frying in a freezer bag works very well. I usually cut the chicken into thinner strips, place them in a freezer bag in one layer, then freeze. I thaw them by placing in the oven to heat through for a few minutes. They are perfect for lunch boxes.
Other Recipes You Will Enjoy
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Crispy Breaded Chicken Escalope
For the chicken
- 1 kilogram chicken breast 4 large pieces
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
For the flour
- ½ cup all purpose flour 70 grams
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon dry parsley flakes optional
- 1.5 cups breadcrumbs 225 grams
- 1.5 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup vegetable oil for frying
To Prepare the Escalope Pieces:
- Place the chicken breast on a stable cutting board. Place your hand flat on top of the chicken breast, and start at the thicker end. Using a sharp chef's knife, start cutting the breast in half while holding the breast down using your palm. Make gentle cuts until you reach the thinner end. You will have 2 flat pieces per chicken breast, that are roughly the same size and thickness. These pieces are called escalopes.
- Keep the escalope pieces on the cutting board and place them side by side. Cover them with a layer of plastic wrap, then pound them with a meat mallet, a heavy pan, or a rolling pin.
- The escalope pieces should be about half the thickness that it was before pounding. Repeat with the other chicken breasts.
- Season the chicken on each side with the salt and pepper.
To Prepare the Breading Station:
- Combine the flour with the salt and pepper in a wide and shallow bowl that will fit the chicken escalope.
- Combine the breadcrumbs with the salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder, in a wide shallow bowl. Mix to combine. You may also use any other seasoning that you like.
- Whisk the eggs in a wide shallow bowl
- Set up your dredging station with the chicken, the flour, the eggs and the breadcrumbs in a row.
To Dredge and Cook the Chicken:
- Dip each chicken piece in the flour and pat it down until well coated on both sides, then dip it into the eggs and flip it so both sides are dipped. Finally, place it in the breadcrumbs and coat with sides. Place the breaded escalope on a large sheet pan and repeat with the rest of the chicken pieces.
- In a saute pan over medium low heat, heat up the oil until hot.
- Place the chicken escalope in the pan and fry on each side for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden. Depending on the size of your pan, fry the chicken in batches (I only fry 2 at a time) and avoid overcrowding the pan to maintain the oil temperature.
- If the chicken is browning too fast, lower the heat. Its best to stick to a medium low temperature to ensure the chicken cooks before the breadcrumbs turn too dark.
- Place the fried escalopes on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat until all the chicken is fried.
- Serve with a side of fries and cabbage salad.
- If you don't know how to cut the breast into escalope pieces, some grocery stores or butchers sell them already cut and pounded. They will be more expensive though.
- Feel free to use different seasoning in the breadcrumbs. This is the basic one I usually go for so that my kids can enjoy it. Otherwise, you can add dry herbs, Italian seasoning, or even some heat via cayenne pepper.
- The fried escalopes are great for freezing. Refer to the storage instructions in the blog post to see how.