Sometimes I am so jealous of people from the South. They get to claim things like pimiento cheese, sweet tea, and fried chicken as their own. They even get peaches! Here in Ohio, we don’t have very many regional foods (aside from fried bologna sandwiches, maybe? or Buckeyes? Cincinnati-style chili?), but I’m happy to borrow from other regions when I’m making dinner. I’m a huge fan of pimiento cheese, and in this recipe, I decided to use it in sauce form to top some crispy chicken cutlets. SO GOOD.
This is the third or fourth time I’ve used a cream cheese-based sauce over chicken cutlets, and I’m still such a huge fan. I love the tangy creaminess of the cream cheese in combination with a crispy piece of chicken. In this version, cream cheese is combined with pimientos, garlic, and cheese to make a silky, flavorful sauce for the chicken. I coated the chicken itself in cracker crumbs, which added a delicious salty, buttery, crunchy quality to the dish.
I know this isn't exactly traditional – but man, is it tasty.
Chicken with Pimiento Cheese Sauce
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
1 1/2 cups crushed Ritz crackers
2 tablespoons butter
Half of an onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 ounces diced jarred pimientos
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 to 1 cup milk or chicken stock
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Beat the egg. Season chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. Dip each chicken cutlet in egg, then in cracker crumbs.
2. Heat a thin layer of canola oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add chicken cutlets in batches (don’t overcrowd the pan) and fry until crispy and cooked through. Place on a rack in the oven to keep warm while you prepare the sauce.
3. Melt the butter in another skillet. Add onion and cook and stir until translucent. Add garlic; cook and stir for 30 seconds. Add pimientos and season with salt and pepper.
4. Stir in cream cheese and milk or chicken stock, starting with 1/2 cup and adding more to thin out the sauce as needed. Once the cream cheese is completely incorporated and the mixture is bubbly, stir in cheddar cheese until melted. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
5. Serve the sauce over the chicken.