One dish my family and I always enjoyed before going gluten-free is fried turkey cutlets. I usually fry them up on Sundays, when we enjoy them “as is”, then re-heat them later in the week in sandwiches or on top of salads. When we went gluten-free, it was difficult to recreate the breading. It would either be too fragile and fall off the turkey or it was too crumbly. I finally came up with a recipe that comes really close to the original.
In terms of nutrition, this recipe is not perfect. I tried my best to make this fried dish as wholesome as possible. This is a nice weekend treat to have once in a while, especially when your outdoor grill is covered with snow.
Let’s face it, gluten-free breadcrumbs are nothing like the store-bought breadcrumbs made with wheat flour. I have tried to make my own breadcrumbs, but I am never able to get it right. Please comment if you have any tricks. In addition, gluten-free breadcrumbs can be full of starches, preservatives, and other undesirable ingredients. My way of enhancing the store-bought gluten-free breadcrumbs is to cut them 50/50 with almond meal. The almond meal softens the breading and makes it adhere better to the turkey.
Two more ways I tried to make this recipe more wholesome is by using brown rice flour instead of an all-purpose gluten-free flour and by using palm oil instead of canola oil. Pre-made gluten-free flours come with built-in starches, such as potato, tapioca, or corn starch. These starches help mimic the properties of wheat flour that make it so versatile in baked goods. However, they don’t offer much nutrition. Also, the question of what is the best oil is always hotly debated. Everyday, I see conflicting information about what oil is healthiest. Without having reliable research, I use oil that is naturally occurring and is appropriate for the level of heat I am cooking. In this case, I’ll choose palm oil over canola. However, in the recipe, I have provided options so you can feel comfortable using what’s on hand.
This recipe uses the standard flour-egg-breadcrumb strategy for making perfect cutlets. The cutlets may be a little darker than you’re used to because of the almond meal. I hope your family enjoys them.
- 1-1½ lb thin sliced boneless, skinless turkey breast cutlets
- ¾ cup brown rice flour or all purpose gluten-free flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup gluten-free Italian style breadcrumbs (I use Aleia’s brand)
- 1 cup almond meal
- 2 cups canola or palm oil (approx., to ½ inch)
- Prepare three bowls in a row with a clean plate at the end.
- In the first bowl add the flour and salt. In the second bowl, add the eggs and beat them lightly. In the third bowl add the breadcrumbs and almond meal.
- Mix the breadcrumbs and almond meal with your hands, being sure to break up any clumps of almond meal.
- Coat a turkey cutlet with the flour mixture, then dip into egg, and finally coat with the breadcrumb/almond meal mixture and place onto plate. When coating with the breadcrumb/almond meal mixture, press down slightly.
- Repeat for each cutlet.
- In a shallow pan add oil until its about ½ inch deep.
- Heat the oil on high until hot enough for frying.
- Fry the cutlets in batches, do not overcrowd.
- The cutlets should be fried for a few minutes per side or until they are a light brown.
- When done, place the cutlets on a paper towel.
- Enjoy immediately or store in a sealed container lined with papertowels in the fridge. Reheat in the oven or toaster oven.