Whenever I fry breaded chicken cutlets, the first side browns beautifully, but when I turn them over, the next side always sticks to the pan. Consequently, one side is beautifully breaded, and the other side is bare of coating. This happens to any kind of meat that I bread. I use olive oil for frying- Ideas?
You might also use a well-seasoned cast iron skillet. This will have the double benefit of a high thermal mass so the temperature won't be down, and a surface that discourages sticking.
It might be that the oil is hotter when you put the first side in and cooled a little by the cooking meat when you flip it. You could try turning the heat up shortly before you flip, or taking the meat out, letting the oil get up to temperature again and adding the meat on the other side.
1That was my thought, too -- the pan's cooled down when cooking the first side, so you need to let it come back up to temp ... like when grilling, where you flip onto a fresh section of the barbeque grate.– JoeAug 10, 2010 at 15:43
Perhaps add a little more oil before you flop the meat? So that would mean that the second side is also protected from sticking.
1Probably a good idea. Remove the food from pan, add more oil, return food. Aug 10, 2010 at 15:18
Consider using a higher smoke point fat for frying, such as refined corn (canola) or vegetable oil. Your pan may become hot enough that your olive oil (assuming it is extra virgin, which has the lowest smoke point of the olive oils) isn't doing you much good.
Also of note when cooking many things in a pan is that you have to leave them in place for a while for everything to "set" before flipping. Are you flipping from the second side earlier than the first?
Finally, consider your binding. I've found that using sour cream to bind flour to chicken for frying helped it stay on quite a bit, the same way that a restaurant-grade binder might. Many recipes suggest eggs. If you are using simply a liquid, using something stronger might help.
The binding portion was right on target: Thanks!! Aug 13, 2010 at 21:50
@AttilaNYC - great!– justktAug 15, 2010 at 3:02
Seconding a higher smoke point fat, I personally like grapeseed oil for high heat situations. It also adds a little nutty flavor (and my wife isn't a huge fan of vegetable oil anyway). I'd also say, slightly higher temperatures to go along with it - I cook breaded meats on a 6-7 out of 10, whereas most people I know habitually go to 5 for fear of burning.
Also, consider trying to leave the second side down for a little longer, I feel like you might be flipping it the second time too quickly. If you flip it too fast, it's not getting a chance to crust and un-stick itself from the pan - similar to how if you flip too fast on a grill, your chicken breast will stick to the grates, but if you wait until it crusts up some, you get a clean flip.
And as Princess Fi said, a little extra oil on the second side isn't the worst idea in the world if nothing else works.
In addition to adding a bit more oil and using a higher smoking point oil, you could also try different breadings. You could try panko bread crumbs, crushed pretzels, very fine bread brumbs. Also, consider double-breading your chicken.