When breading cutlets, it's easy for things to turn into a sticky mess. Learn how to coat ingredients evenly without creating a disaster.

We've all been there. In fact, my mom coined a special term—"chicken handlet"—for that particularly unfortunate situation in which you find yourself with five fingers and much of your palm completely covered in a mixture of raw eggs, flour, and bread crumbs. The good news? Creating an organized system will help you avoid chicken handlet (and the icky mess that comes with it) for good. Just follow these easy instructions, and remember: practice makes perfect.

Follow These Steps

  1. Instill order.
    Arrange your ingredients from left to right in this order: the food you want to bread, flour, beaten eggs, and bread crumbs.
  2. Flour with one hand.
    Using your left hand—this one will stay dry—turn the chicken cutlets in the flour to coat both sides, then drop it into the bowl of egg.
  3. Bread with the other.
    Using your right hand—this will be the wet one—lift the chicken from the egg, shake off the excess, then drop it into the bread crumbs. Using your dry left hand again, turn the chicken in the bread crumbs to coat both sides, tap off the excess, then place on a clean plate while you coat the rest of the cutlets.
  4. If need be, pull back one palm.
    If you can’t keep track of which hand is which, you can always just put one hand behind your back. That way one hand will get messy, but one hand will always stay clean. (When your phone rings or you need to pour yourself another glass of wine, you'll be endlessly grateful for those uncoated fingers).