Main Course, Poultry

Pan-Roasted Turkey Cutlets with Orange Gremolata

3 Comments 30 October 2013

Is anyone going to hurt us if we reveal that it’s time for…? (cues up trumpets) Thanksgiving recipe ideas! That’s right, folks, it’s time to start thinking of the Big One. The Feast. The one that makes you all warm and sleeeepy. The food coma to end all food comas! OK, the idea, we has it. November is going to be one hundred percent ideas for the Thanksgiving main meal. In the past we’ve experimented with a few alternate ideas that deviate from the traditional, but still with that undertone of potential family favorites. I’ve been pinning recipe ideas like the most, so here we go!

Pan-Roasted Turkey Cutlets with Orange Gremolata-1

First up on our recipe ideas this year are the bird – Mr. Turkey to be exact. By now, there’s not much more one can say about roasting/deep-frying/smoking a whole one, so what about alternate ideas that are so very easy, but every bit as tasty? That’s what this recipe does. It’s perfect for a smaller family and it’s easy to double for a bigger one.

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Today we’re doing a little pan frying, which involves dredging some turkey cutlets in a traditional breading process. If you’re like me and cringing at the thought of frying (not because of fat and calories – shaa, as if, but for the technique), guess what? I hate to do it, have never been good at frying chicken and usually run away screaming at the thought of it. But this time it’s really easy. I swear, I swear, I so so swear.

The first step after cutting your turkey into cutlet-size pieces is to dredge it in a salt/pepper/flour mixture. Shake off excess.

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Next on your breading assembly line: dip all sides of the cutlet into an egg and dijon mustard mixture. Great thing is, you’ll be able to taste a subtle hint of the mustard later!

Pan-Roasted Turkey Cutlets with Orange Gremolata-4

And last but not least, coat the cutlet well with fine bread crumbs. I almost used panko, which is more coarse, but was glad we went with the fine-textured crumbs instead. In the long run, frying using this method, I think it just turned out better than panko would have.

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Using a nice, wide oven proof pan, we fried up the breaded cutlet in a little olive oil. At this point they’re cooked on the one side shown, and it’ time to put them in the oven to let the other side cook and get nice and crisp. This will also ensure the cutlets are cooked all the way through without getting tough.

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While the cutlets are finishing up in the oven, it’s time to get the orange gremolata sauce made, which is yet another amazingly easy and tasty part of the recipe. Made up of garlic, orange zest and juice, parsley and brandy, it’s low on ingredients but huge on flavor.

Sauce Tip: We actually made up our sauce and then needed to let it sit in the pan while we finished our other recipe. In this time the sauce seemed to get a little dry. We turned the burner back on low and added a few tablespoons of chicken stock until it sort of came back to life, nice and thick and still full of wonderful flavor. Add a tablespoon at a time till it’s the consistency you want, warm through and serve over your turkey.

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Not only is this a great idea for a more relaxed and stress-free Thanksgiving, this is a killer go-to recipe for a weeknight meal. Even with the breading process, this is a quick, easy main for a slightly more fancy meal, all without the fuss. The turkey fried up perfectly and you don’t need a ton of oil to accomplish it. If you’re thinking of making this alongside something like risotto (we’ve got a recipe we tried coming up next post), make the side dish first, then the turkey so you can serve the turkey nice and warm. You can probably reheat your side easier, but the turkey heated up pretty well in my microwave, too, after pictures were done. Either way you do it, we highly recommend this yummy, easy recipe that adds a touch of easy elegance to your meal. Enjoy!

Pan-Roasted Turkey Cutlets with Orange Gremolata

from Essentials of Roasting, by Rick Rodgers, Melanie Barnard & Bob & Colleen Simmons via

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: about 15 minutes Level: Easy Serves: 4

For the turkey:

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 1/2 cups fine dried bread crumbs
  • 4 turkey cutlets, each 4 to 6 oz. and 1/2
  • inch thick
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

For the sauce:

  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • Juice of 1 orange (about 1/3 cup)
  • 3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
  • 2 Tbs. brandy
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Place the flour on a plate and season with salt and pepper. In a pie pan, whisk together the egg, mustard, and a little salt and pepper. Place the bread crumbs on another plate. Coat each cutlet on both sides with the seasoned flour, then dip both sides in the egg mixture and then finally in the bread crumbs, coating evenly on both sides each time.

In a large, heavy ovenproof fry pan over high heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. When it is very hot, add the cutlets and sauté until the crumbs are crisp and golden, about 2 minutes. Turn the cutlets over and transfer the pan to the oven. Roast until the cutlets are firm to the touch and the bread crumbs are nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the cutlets to a warmed platter or warmed individual plates.

To make the sauce, place the pan over medium-high heat and add the orange zest and juice, parsley, garlic and brandy. Cook, stirring, until slightly reduced, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon an equal amount of the sauce over each cutlet. Serve immediately.


This recipe was pretty much perfect, wouldn’t really change anything about it. Just keep in mind the tip above for reconstituting your gremolata if needed – it worked great!

One other thing – you might need to mix up more of the egg and dijon mixture. We barely had enough and we had two small turkey pieces in our package that were cut up into cutlets.

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- who has written 347 posts on Full Fork Ahead.

Wife, mom, indulgent reader and Day Job Do-er, who occasionally likes to think she can cook. Sometimes she's right, sometimes she's wrong.

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3 Comments so far

  1. ayna says:

    thanks for sharing…looks yummy!


  1. 15 Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes to Try -- Tatertots and Jello - November 23, 2014

    […] Pan-Roasted Turkey Cutlets with Orange Gremolata @ Full Fork Ahead […]

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