1. Break the bread into pieces. In a large bowl, soak the bread in the half-and-half until the liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Mix in the chicken, egg, salt, pepper, dill, and the 3 tablespoons room-temperature butter. Put in the freezer for about 10 minutes to firm up.
2. Remove the chicken mixture from the freezer; it will still be very soft. Form the mixture into four oval cutlets and coat them with the bread crumbs.
3. In a large, nonstick frying pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the oil over moderate heat. Cook the cutlets until golden brown and just done, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
Variation: Italian-Style Chicken Cutlets: Omit the dill. Use half bread crumbs, half grated Parmesan cheese to coat the cutlets.
Menu Suggestions: Sautéed mushrooms are the traditional Russian accompaniment to chicken cutlets. Beets, glazed carrots, and mashed potatoes are other excellent possibilities.
Wine Recommendation: The butteriness of the juicy cutlets contrasts beautifully with the racy freshness of an uncomplicated red wine. A Beaujolais from France or a merlot from Trentino in Northern Italy or will be perfect.