Chicken Milanese: A Chicken for All Seasons

 

The art of breading and pan-frying meat—chicken, veal or pork—is a valuable skill to have. Why? Because it’s unbelievably delicious, that’s why. Plus, everyone in your family will love this dish.

The key is to offset the crunchy, fried exterior by topping it with an acidic sauce or salad. The classic Milanese treatment of a lemony arugula and tomato salad is the way to go. Serve it with rice pilaf and steamed green beans or broccoli and the meal is done.

Chicken Milanese

Serves 4

  • 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • flour for dredging
  • 3 large eggs
  • panko bread crumbs for breading
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

For salad:

  • 1 lemon (you will need 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and all the juice)
  • 1 garlic clove, de-germed and minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 scallion, sliced thinly
  • 4 large basil leaves, julienned
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, halved

1. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the counter or cutting board. Place chicken on top and cover with another piece of plastic wrap. Pound to 1/4-inch thickness with a mallet or small frying pan.

2. Put some flour in a gallon-sized plastic bag; whisk eggs together in a wide, flat bowl or pie pan; and fill another bowl or pie pan with panko bread crumbs. Season the cutlets with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken first in flour, dip in beaten eggs, and then finally coat on both sides with bread crumbs.

3. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat; add olive oil and butter. When butter has melted and a small drop of water sprinkled in pan sizzles, add chicken and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a cookie sheet covered with paper towels to absorb excess oil.

4. Quickly toss the salad: In a large bowl, combine lemon juice, zest, and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk in the olive oil. Add arugula, scallion, basil and cherry tomatoes. Toss to coat.

5. To serve, put a beautiful chicken breast on a plate, top with 1/4 of the salad, Parmesan, and a drizzle of aged balsamic. Repeat with remaining chicken, and enjoy. Buon appetito!