Italian chicken sandwich

This crispy chicken cutlet-focused sandwich is inspired by a menu item from Varsi Deli in Queens, New York. Crunchy, pan-fried chicken with prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, and seasoned roasted red peppers stuffed inside of a semolina hero roll for a great sandwich experience.
Instructions for 1 sandwich
schedule 10 minutes
schedule 10 minutes
schedule 20 minutes


Chicken cutlet
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken thigh or breast piece (see notes below)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 13 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons parmesan cheese, grated
  • 12 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 12 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Sandwich assembly
  • roasted red peppers
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 six-to-eight-inch sub roll
  • mayonnaise (optional)
  • chicken cutlet (from above)
  • 2 or 3 slices of prosciutto
  • 2 or 3 thin slices of fresh mozzarella


Chicken cutlet: pound out the piece of chicken until it's a uniform thickness of around 1/2-inch thick. To pound the chicken, I usually use a piece of plastic wrap or a zip-top bag on top of the chicken and pound it that way so that nothing splatters. The plastic should also keep you from tearing the chicken up too much. You want a consistently sized piece of meat that's about the width/length of the roll that you're using.

Set up the panko breadcrumb dredging station with two bowls that are big enough to hold the piece of chicken. In the first bowl, crack and whisk one egg. The second bowl should contain the panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Stir the panko and seasonings. 

First, dip the chicken in the bowl with the whisked egg. Flip the chicken a couple of times to ensure that it is fully coated with egg.

Next, move the egg-coated chicken to the bowl with the seasoned panko breadcrumbs. Again, flip the chicken several times to make sure it is fully coated with breadcrumbs. 

In a medium pan over medium heat, add two tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil. 

When the butter is fully melted and bubbly, add the panko-crusted piece of chicken. Cook for 4 minutes on the first side and then flip. Cook an additional 3 minutes on the second side. 

After the chicken has cooked on the second side, remove it to a paper towel-lined plate or a cooling rack to rest while you prepare the rest of your sandwich ingredients. 

Roasted red peppers: in a small bowl add a couple of forkfuls of roasted red peppers. Sprinkle some olive oil and red wine vinegar on top and season them with salt and pepper. Toss to coat the peppers evenly with seasoning, oil, and vinegar.

Sandwich assembly: slice your roll to prepare for the ingredients. Add mayonnaise to the bottom of the roll (if using). 

Add your fried chicken cutlet to the bottom of the roll and top the chicken with slices of prosciutto.

Top the meats with thin slices of fresh mozzarella and then add your seasoned roasted red peppers to top everything off. Cover with the top of the roll and serve.


Chicken breast: if you are using a piece of breast meat or a whole chicken breast, you should probably butterfly the breast first to help the chicken piece be a little thinner. Then you will have one big flat piece of chicken that you can either separate into two pieces or cook the whole large piece after pounding it a little thinner. Once it is cooked you can cut the big chicken piece into shapes that will fit your bread. 

Chicken thighs: sometimes chicken thighs are really small. If yours are way smaller than your bread, you can use two thighs. Just pound them out thinner and you should be able to follow the recipe the exact same way as the instructions and with the same ingredients. 

Have you made this recipe? Tag @beerinator and let him know!


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