Dinner Tonight: Stuffed Chicken Cutlet With Ham, Cheese, and Sauerkraut

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

Sometimes, instead of just reading online, it's still worth subscribing to a newspaper in actual print. Like a few weeks ago on Wednesday, when the New York Times food section had a photograph of this recipe above the fold that was an entire foot tall. A breaded chicken cutlet, oozing provolone cheese between a layer of ham and tangy sauerkraut. It stopped me in my tracks. "I must cook that immediately," I promised myself in awe. And the next trip to the grocery store I procured all the ingredients.

The recipe is meant to restore the chicken breast—for a long time now the recipient of much foodie disdain—to some kind of former glory. Slicing into this dinner, I thought of Chicken Cordon Bleu. Does that mean the recipe has done its job? There's definitely a retro quality to this dish, which I actually like.

But most important? It tastes as good as it looks.

Stuffed Chicken Cutlets With Ham, Cheese and Sauerkraut

About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. After a year in Estonia, he's now living in Chicago.

Dinner Tonight: Stuffed Chicken Cutlet With Ham, Cheese, and Sauerkraut

About This Recipe



  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken cutlets (about 1 1/4 pounds total)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Dijon mustard, as needed
  • 1 1/2 ounces provolone cheese (1 1/2 thin slices)
  • 1 1/2 ounces ham (1 1/2 thin slices)
  • 3 tablespoons sauerkraut, packed
  • 3/8 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2 cups plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, for frying.


  1. 1

    If the chicken cutlets are not of uniform thickness, place them between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound gently, aiming to make 3 pairs of approximately the same shape. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

  2. 2

    In a bowl, whisk the egg whites, cornstarch, parsley, and garlic, until the egg whites begin to turn foamy.

  3. 3

    Paint one side of each chicken cutlet with mustard, then layer the ham and cheese on three of the cutlets. Spread a tablespoon of sauerkraut on top of the ham and cheese, then lay the second half of each pair, mustard side in, to make a sandwich. Seal the edges as best you can.

  4. 4

    Dip the cutlet sandwiches in the egg white mixture, then dredge in the bread crumbs. If needed, they can be refrigerated for several hours at this point.

  5. 5

    Heat the oil in a skillet with plenty of room for all the chicken (if not, cook them in batches) over medium-high heat until a breadcrumb tossed into the pan sizzles vigorously. Fry until dark golden brown, 2-3 minutes/side. Drain on paper towels momentarily, then serve immediately, with more sauerkraut, if desired, or a tart salad.


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