For Flatter, Even Chicken Cutlets, Whip Out The Tortilla Press

When making your favorite chicken dishes such as chicken parmesan, piccata, and schnitzel, the breast of a chicken can leave you with less than desired results. The chicken needs to be flattened, after all. That's why chicken cutlets are so much easier to manage. Still, whether you plan on searing or breaded and fried, even the cutlets need a little coaxing for an evenly cooked piece of meat. So, your recipe for these types of dishes will call for you to pound the cutlet out.

Traditionally, a mallet is used for pounding chicken flatter than a pancake. Not only does the process allow seasonings to distribute to the very last bite, but it also keeps your chicken from drying out. Some recommend a heavy pan or rolling pin as alternative resources to the usual mallet for this step. But, there's an unlikely kitchen tool that you most likely already have in your arsenal of gadgets if you've made many Latin dishes. For the easiest route to cutlets as thin as can be — a tortilla press is golden.

How to use a tortilla press to pound chicken cutlets

It's quite simple really. And by using the tortilla press as opposed to other tools, there is far less risk of splattering bacteria from the raw chicken onto kitchen surfaces. Not to mention, the chicken cutlet won't be beaten to a pulp.

First things first, though. Like any process in the kitchen, mise en place is always a good call. Use a couple of plastic storage bags to line the press. This reduces the spread of bacteria while also keeping the chicken from sticking to the press. Plastic wrap or parchment paper are also great options for this step.

Once you have that ready to go, cut large chicken breasts into half. Then place one of them in the center of the tortilla maker, and with one firm squeeze of the press, you have a no-mess no-fuss flattened chicken cutlet. Then proceed with the other recipe steps, one cutlet at a time.