I am going to share a few of my secrets for great Chicken Milanese. Why chicken, you might ask, and not veal? The reason tonight is because I had chicken in the house. I love Veal Milanese but sometimes the butcher doesn’t know how to cut or pound it and if I don’t have time to do it myself I am almost always unhappy with the results. The butcher usually cuts the veal from the leg and since it is a tough piece of meat they tend to pound it so thin that when you bread and fry the scaloppini you only taste fried breading.
When I have time I buy a veal chop ($$$$) and pound it myself to the thickness I know is best for flavor.
The same holds true with chicken. If you or your butcher pounds the chicken breast too thin there is no flavor at all. I like it pounded no thinner than half an inch. Ask you butcher to do this for you or simply do it yourself by cutting the fattest part of the chicken breast open (like a book) and putting the breast between two pieces of plastic wrap, gently pound it to the thickness I mentioned. You only have to pound the thick part of the chicken breast.
I like to serve Chicken Milanese with Roasted Potatoes, Marinated Tomatoes and a Beautiful Field Greens Salad.
4 5 To 6 Ounce Chicken Breast Halves Pounded to ½ Inch Thickness
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Large Egg
1/2 Cup Milk or Half and Half
2 Cups Panko Bread Crumbs
1/2 Teaspoon Fine Sea Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Vegetable or Canola Oil for Frying
Aged Balsamic Vinegar for Drizzling
Preheat oven to 350º.
Mix the egg and the milk together. Set aside. Season the flour with half of the salt and pepper and season the panko bread crumbs with the rest of the salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken breasts into the flour, shaking off any excess. Dip the floured chicken breasts into the egg and milk mixture, letting the excess drip off. Coat the chicken breasts with the panko bread crumbs, gently pressing the crumbs into the chicken. Set aside.
Over medium high heat, heat half an inch of the two oils in a large sauté pan until hot, but not smoking. Gently place the chicken breasts into the hot oil (don’t crowd the pan) and cook until the coating on the chicken is golden brown. Turn and cook the second side of the chicken until golden brown. Remove the chicken from the hot oil to a rack that has been placed over a sheet pan. Continue cooking the rest of the chicken. Once all of the chicken is cooked in the oil and placed on the rack over the sheet pan, put the chicken breasts in the oven and cook for 7 to 10 minutes.
Serve immediately. Serve Aged Balsamic Vinegar on the side to drizzle on the chicken.
Hints and Tips: Place two large garlic cloves into the oil as the oil is heating. When the garlic cloves are sizzling and golden brown, you know the oil is ready.
You can prepare the chicken in advance up to placing it in the oven. When ready to serve finish it in the oven for a full 10 minutes.
Placing the fried chicken breast on a rack over a sheet pan keeps the coating crisp and allows heat to circulate completely around the chicken. I do this with almost everything I finish in the oven after starting it on the stove-top.