Chicken Milanese

March 31, 2014 | By | COMMENTS

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A strange thing has happened to me recently. I’ve been working on a play (don’t ask any questions! it’s too soon) and also going to the gym five days a week so that, at the end of the day, I wander into Trader Joe’s (underneath my gym) in a sort of daze, eager to just grab some things to throw a tasty dinner together. In other words: by shifting my professional focus, I’ve actually gotten better at my profession because most people who read my blog wander into Trader Joe’s in a similar state at the end of the day and want to know how to put something tasty on the table. So it may come as a shock to you that I was able to make this, what seems like a highly involved dish, after arriving home at 6:30 in no mood to make a highly involved dish. It’s Chicken Milanese and it’s a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am kind of a weeknight dinner.

What makes it so great is you get a crispy chicken cutlet–basically, fried chicken–that’s cut by a bright, acidic, slightly bitter arugula salad. All kinds of textures, temperatures, flavors: it’s good stuff.

To start, you’ll need as many boneless, skinless chicken breasts as you’d like to serve. In our case, I only needed two. Place each breast between sheets of plastic wrap (I only had parchment paper) and pound away with a rolling pin until they’re about a 1/2-inch thick:

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Ok, now that you’ve done that, you’ve gotta set up your work station: you’ll need a pan of all-purpose flour, a pan of eggs beaten together (about 3 eggs), and then a pan full of Panko bread crumbs.

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It’s important to salt all of these things, just slightly, and then I think it’s a really good idea to flavor the Panko. My strategy was to add some grated Parmesan cheese, some chopped parsley, and the zest of a lemon:

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Now, you just dip your chicken breasts in the flour, the egg, and then the panko until fully coated.

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Set them aside and heat a layer of olive oil (about 1/2 cup) in a cast iron skillet. When it’s good and hot, lay your chicken breasts in and allow them to sizzle about 5 minutes a side:

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While that’s happening, make your salad. Toss washed arugula with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and–just for the hell of it–some pickled red onions (I’ve been using those in almost everything lately, they’re wonderful), leftover olives, and shaved Parmesan.

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By the time you finish making the salad, it’ll be time to flip your chicken:

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Cook on that second side until it’s crispy too and then cut into one of the chicken breasts to see if it’s cooked all the way through. When it is, remove them both to plates, squeeze some lemon over the chicken and top with the salad.

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Is this easier than ordering a pizza? No, certainly not, but with just a little effort, you can have a special dinner like this on the table and feel really good about yourself. Especially if you add a cold glass of white wine to the mix.

Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going back to my play. Pulitzer prizes don’t win themselves.

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Categories: Misc. Entrees, Recipes

  • Deb

    We eat this twice a week. We can make it super fast when R comes home from the restaurant. We flatten the chicken much more and she believes in unadulterated crumbs (I would use the cheese) and spritzes lemon on after. And we change up the salads but it goes surprisingly well with a St. Auger blue salad…My favorite dinner.

  • Babs

    A gym over Trader Joe’s. How utterly perfect!

  • Mary

    I also make this often. Sometimes with a boneless pork chop and like Deb, who commented below, I pound it flatter than this and I also use a lot less oil. I usually serve it with a green salad with tomatoes and onions, Spanish style with olive oil and salt. A squeeze of lemon over everything and you are right, dinner is ready in about 15 minutes.

  • Mary

    I also make this often. Sometimes with a boneless pork chop and like Deb, who commented below, I pound it flatter than this and I also use a lot less oil. I usually serve it with a green salad with tomatoes and onions, Spanish style with olive oil and salt. A squeeze of lemon over everything and you are right, dinner is ready in about 15 minutes.

  • NancyRing

    A quick supper classic well done!!

  • Kate

    I am curious to know what Lolita was looking at through the window………..

  • Sophie

    This looks like a lovely dinner, I’ll be trying it this week!

    Sophie

    http://what-sophie-said.blogspot.co.uk/

    xxx

  • Maria

    Looks great! Reminds me of an old Silver Palate recipe for Chicken Paillards, but updated and easier…Good luck with the play!

  • http://www.inex24.pl/ Janusz Bystrzyca

    Hey it’s look very nice. I must try this on my own

  • http://www.thepickygirl.com Jenn

    I need to stop being lazy in the kitchen. I’ve admitted before that I’m a very picky eater, but I still follow your blog religiously (the only food blog I follow, to be honest) because I love your writing. I could easily do this. I haven’t cooked chicken in many years as the scent of it makes me a bit ill…but I need to stop eating so poorly. I can do this…and what’s more is, I want to. So thanks for the gentle kick in the pants.

    And I love the last line of this post.

  • Sam M.

    I make this ahead when I come home with a pack of chicken breasts or sometimes with a pork loin cut into steaks. Everything up to the crumbing stage, freeze them crumbed and then pull them out, a quick defrost and they are ready to go so no cleaning up all the breadcrumb and egg pans during a busy midweek and you make all the mess at one time.

  • 50p Queen

    I quite like to dip the chicken/pork (one side) with a mix of dijon mustard, crushed garlic, salt,pepper tiny pinch of cayenne before the flour,egg and breadcrumbs. Definate love parmesan in breadcrumbs. Creative and quick meals=win.

  • sim

    you mean you’ve made shnitzel with a twist….

  • sim

    you mean you’ve made shnitzel with a twist….

  • sim

    you mean you’ve made shnitzel with a twist….

  • Deborah Lorraine

    The pickled red onions…your own or store bought?