French fries > croutons. Think of this as your fave kids’ meal, all grown up into a salad with crispy chicken, shoestring fries, and honey mustard-ranch dressing (so you don’t have to choose). Anything counts as a salad if there's lettuce involved...right? Using a julienne peeler or mandoline is the easiest way to make super thin fries, but you can just use a knife to get them as thin as possible. In a pinch, you can also substitute frozen fries—baked for a little longer to make sure they're ultra crunchy—to save time. If you aren't so sure about frying at home, check our our tips and tricks for deep-frying without fear. You'll be a pro in no time.
+ Neutral oil (such as canola, sunflower, or peanut), for frying
For the shoestring fries:
1 large russet potato OR 1 cup frozen shoestring fries
+ Neutral oil, for frying
For the honey mustard-ranch dressing:
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup buttermilk
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1 pinch cayenne
For the salad:
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 avocado, pitted and sliced
¼ cup chopped parsley
Make the shoestring fries: Peel the russet potato and cut into matchsticks using a julienne peeler or mandoline fitted with a julienne blade. If you do not have a julienne peeler, slice the potatoes into ¼” slabs lengthwise and then cut as thin fries as you can. Add to a bowl of cold water and set aside.
Bread the cutlets: Combine the flour with 1 teaspoon salt in a shallow baking dish. In another dish, beat the eggs with ½ teaspoon salt. In a third bowl, combine the panko, paprika, and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and toss to coat. Season each cutlet generously with salt, then dip each piece of chicken in the flour, shaking off the excess. Dip each one into the egg mixture, letting the excess drip off, then press each side firmly into the panko mixture. Let the breaded cutlets sit out while you make the dressing—this will help the breading stick to the chicken better when fried!
Make the dressing: Whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
Fry the cutlets: Heat ½ inch oil in a very large skillet (like our Family Pan) over medium heat. Test the oil’s readiness by throwing in an errant panko crumb in and seeing if it begins to sizzle and turn golden right away. Working in two batches, gently lay the cutlets in the oil (away from you!) and fry until golden and crisp, 2–3 minutes per side. Transfer to a wire rack set over a sheet pan to drain, cool slightly, then cut into one-inch strips.
Fry the shoestrings: Drain the shoestring fries and dry thoroughly. Add the potatoes to the oil in batches, frying for 1–2 minutes or until golden brown. (They are thin and will cook fast, so keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn!) Transfer to a wire rack set over a sheet pan to drain and immediately season generously with salt. If using frozen fries, bake according to package instructions, plus a few minutes until extra crispy.
Assemble the salad: Arrange the lettuce on a large platter. Arrange the cutlet strips and avocado slices over the lettuce, then drizzle with half the dressing and top with the shoestring fries and parsley. Season the salad with more salt and pepper and serve with extra dressing.