WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 8: The Pork Chop at Nina May photographed for Firstbite in Washington, DC on November 8, 2019. (Photo by Laura Chase de Formigny for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
The Term 'Cutlet' Doesn't Mean What You Might Think
A cutlet is a broad term that can be applied to many meat dishes, including veal scallopini, schnitzel, and chicken fried steak. While there is a general belief that the term "cutlet" refers to a breaded and fried piece of meat that's been sliced and pounded thinly, the term actually refers to the cut of meat itself, not its preparation.
The definition of a cutlet is straightforward: a small slice of chicken, turkey, veal, beef, pork, lamb, or mutton. These thinner slices of meat are easier to chew and require less cooking time than a larger section of meat, but the cooking method itself doesn't have to be breading and frying in order for the dish to be called a cutlet.
A seared chicken cutlet seasoned with salt, pepper, and lemon on a bed of greens makes for an excellent salad, and quickly-cooked beef cutlets make for a great sandwich. While your guests may expect something breaded and fried if you say you're making cutlets, you can still show them (and yourself) how versatile these cuts can be.