In our family, Pollo Empanado or Breaded Chicken has long been a favorite. It’s one of the poultry recipes that is featured in my first cookbook, Puerto Rican Cuisine in America (Running Press). Over the years we have experimented by using such ingredients as soy sauce, mustard, and salad dressing for dipping the chicken. But we always come back to the ubiquitous egg-oil mixture. For those who worry  about that bugaboo, cholesterol, egg whites can be used. The flavor won’t be the same. And let me state that in recent years, some studies (as in one from the Mayo Clinic) now state that the cholesterol in eggs doesn’t seem to raise cholesterol levels the way other cholesterol containing food do, such as trans fats and saturated fats. We’re back to square one: one study study says one thing and another may say something else. Seems more research is needed. So, what else is new? Just enjoy the recipe.

(Breaded Chicken)


2 boneless chicken breasts, about 2 pounds
1 egg, beaten
¾ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 cup dry bread crumbs
Salt  and ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
¼ cup butter


  1. Rinse chicken beasts under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.
  2.  Place  chicken breasts between 2 sheets of wax paper and pound thin to about ¼-inch thickness.
  3.  In a bowl, combine egg, ½ cup olive oil, vinegar and garlic. Spread dry bread crumbs on a plate and season with salt, pepper and oregano.
  4.  Dip the chicken in the egg-oil mixture, and then dredge in bread crumbs, turning gently to coat.
  5.  Heat butter and additional ¼ cup olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan. Cook cutlets over medium heat until crusty and brown (around 3 minutes per side). Drain on absorbent paper towels.
    Yield: 4 to 5 servings.