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Cutlet (derived from côtelette, côte ("rib")) refers to:
- a thin slice of meat from the leg or ribs of veal, pork, or mutton (also known in various languages as a cotoletta or Kotelett)
- a fried breaded cutlet
- a croquette made of minced meat
- a kind of fish fillet
- various preparations using fried cutlets or croquettes
From the late 1700s until about 1900, virtually all recipes for "cutlets" in English-language cookbooks were for veal cutlets. Then pork cutlets began to appear. More recently, in American cuisine a cutlet is most famously made using chicken. The cutlet is usually run through flour, egg and bread crumbs, then fried in a pan with some oil. Cutlets are used in several different meals. The credited creator of the modern American chicken cutlet is thought to be Michael Santaniello.
In British cuisine a cutlet is usually unbreaded and can also be called a chop. If referring to beef, more than one piece together would be generally called a rib of beef or a rib joint, whilst lamb ribs are called a rack, or rack of lamb. Lamb racks can also be tied into a circular shape before cooking, with the ribs on the outside, giving a crown shape, leading to the name "crown of lamb".
In Indian cuisine, a cutlet specifically refers to cooked meat (mutton, beef, fish or chicken) stuffing that is fried with a batter/covering. The meat itself is cooked with spices - onion, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, coriander (cilantro), green chillies, lemon and salt. This is then dipped in an egg mix and then in breadcrumbs, and fried in ghee or vegetable oil.
The vegetarian version has no meat in it, instead the filling is a combination of mashed potatoes, onion, green chillies, spices and salt, cooked for a bit together. This version is more popular with the dominantly vegetarian Indian population. An example is the Aloo Tikki.
The use of the cutlet is quite widespread in Italian cuisine in many different variations. The most famous variant is the Milanese cutlet (cotoletta alla milanese), a veal cutlet covered in bread crumbs and fried in butter. It should not be mistaken for the Wiener schnitzel (which should be referred as a scaloppina alla viennese, or as fettina impanata in Italian), because it's a different cut of meat; the Milanese cutlet cut includes the bone, whereas the Wienerschnitzel doesn't. It is disputed whether the cotoletta alla milanese originated the Wienerschnitzel, or vice-versa.
Australians eat lamb cutlets battered with egg yolk and breadcrumbs. Chicken cutlets are also very popular, but known as chicken schnitzel. Both lamb cutlets and chicken schnitzel are a staple of Australian children's cuisine. Amongst most Australians of Italian descent, the term schnitzel is replaced by the term cutlet. Cutlets amongst this population are usually veal or chicken.
The Polish pork cutlet kotlet schabowy. Polish variety of pork cutlet coated with breadcrumbs made of pork, pork chop. Served hot. Kotlet schabowy can be served with mashed potatoes, home fries, pierogi, fried mushrooms, cooked vegetables (cabbage), with salads or with coleslaw. Kotlet z Kury is a Polish variety of chicken cutlet coated with breadcrumbs. Kotlet z Indyka turkey cutlet coated with breadcrumbs.
Polish Kotlet z Kury Breaded chicken cutlet with cabbage salad.
Cuisines of Russia, Ukraine and other countries of former Soviet Union
In modern Russian, the word kotleta (котлета) refers almost exclusively to pan-fried minced meat croquettes. Bread soaked in milk, onions, garlic, and herbs is usually present in the recipe. When in a hurry, a "cutlet" can be eaten between bread slices like a hamburger, but this fast meal is rarely served in restaurants. At homes, it is most often served with pan-fried potatoes, mashed potatoes, pasta, etc.
A particular form called pozharskaya kotleta, is an elaborated version of minced poultry kotleta covered with breadcrumbs.
Another Russian version of a cutlet, called otbivnaya kotleta (отбивная котлета), meaning "beaten cutlet," is a fried slice of meat, usually pork or beef, beaten flat with a tenderizing hammer or knife handle and covered with beaten eggs, dough or breadcrumbs. The recipe is similar to those of escalopes, polish, or american cutlets. Today, this dish is simply called otbivnaya, with the word kotleta reserved for minced meat patties.
Chicken Kiev is called kotleta po-kievski (котлета по-киевски) in Russian which means "Kiev-style cutlet."
In Hong Kong the cutlet was introduced during the period of British colonial occupation along with other cooking influences. It is seen as "sai chaan" or Western cuisine. Veal, pork and chicken are battered and deep fried for lunch. Seafood such as shrimp or scallop that is battered or breaded and deep fried such as can also be known as 'cutlet' in Hong Kong. It is usually served alongside rice or spaghetti noodles.
In Iran, cutlet (Persian: کتلت) consists of a mix of ground beef, mashed potatoes and onions fried in a pan and is a very popular dish amongst middleclass families.