Chicken milanese is the most requested dish in my house. Well maybe it is the Macaroni N Cheese. In either case, I have learned so much about making this dish since I have made it so much. To begin with, you have to cut the chicken yourself. Buy regular boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Then, begin with making a horizontal cut so the breast becomes two, relatively, even chicken breasts. By cutting them horizontally, the remaining thickness of each breast is perfect for the pounding. For those of you who think I am taking out my aggression on the chicken, pounding the chicken is taking a mallet and hitting the chicken breasts until they are quite thin. This tenderizes the chicken breasts and makes more surface for browning.
The second learning experience is to use a combination of panko bread crumbs and corn meal. I find that the panko crumbs are crustier than normal bread crumbs. I enhance the crunch with the addition of the corn meal. Corn meal is naturally more crunchy. It is very fine. If you only use the corn meal, I feel the breading will get way to crispy before the chicken cooks through. By combining the corn meal with another bread crumb, you get a the perfect breading mixture. After taking the pounded cutlets through the dredging process, if you have enough time, you can put the breaded breasts into the fridge to enable the breading to adhere further.
I am not done with the insights. There are more but the last one I will share in this post is the cooking. The key to get the perfect browning without overdoing the breading is to brown the breading in a skillet. But only do the browning in the skillet. So the breaded cutlets are cooked 2 – 3 minutes per side and then removed from the skillet. The breaded cutlets are finished in the oven. Finishing your entree in the oven is the trick that restaurants use. For this chicken milanese, it balances the browning of the breading with the cooking of the chicken in the oven.
- 6 chicken breasts, sliced horizontally
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup corn meal
- 6 eggs
- Lots of dashes of Tobasco
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon cayenne
- 1/2 – 1 cup canola or corn oil
- Take the halved chicken breasts and cover with plastic. Using a mallet, pound the chicken pretty thin.
- Set up your dredging stations. Start by taking one chicken slice and dredge in the flour. Shake off the excess.
- Then, drop into the tobasco egg wash. Let the excess drip off.
- Finish by placing in the panko bread crumb corn meal mix. Press in the breading and let the excess fall off.
- Meanwhile, pour the oil into your skillet and heat on medium high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add in the breaded chicken fillets. Do not overcrowd the pan.
- Cook each fillet 2 – 3 minutes per side. Move to a cooling rack and let the oil drain off.
- Finish pan frying the fillets. When 6 – 8 are cooked and drained, place on a baking tray.
- Place into a 275 degree oven for 8 – 10 minutes.
- Let rest for a couple of minutes.
- Top with marinara sauce and place on the zoodles.
- Serve and enjoy!
The perfectly browned, final dish.