Growing up, my grandma’s chicken milanese was always, and still is, one of my favorite comfort foods. Not only is it one of my favorites, but also one of my friends’ favorites. In high school we would get together, eat my grandma’s milanese and fettuccini, and play taboo. When we all started eating it together I learned how to make it, and now I’m going to share that with you!
So this recipe has 2 main parts to it. If you stop after the first part, you get a delicious, crispy milanese that’s awesome by itself or with fettuccini alfredo. Or, you can give it the ol’ razzle dazzle and step it up to a chicken parmesan. Either way you make it, you’re making a great decision.
This recipe makes enough for 1 person, but its super easy to make it for more. Just multiply each ingredient for the amount of people you’re cooking for (i.e. for 4 people use 4 chicken breast, 4 eggs….etc)
What you’ll need:
- 1 chicken breast
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil (enough to cover the bottom of your pan and a little more)
- 3-4 tablespoons tomato sauce
- 2-4 slices mozzarella or provolone
- Handful of parmesan cheese
If you decide you’ll be making chicken parm, now is the time to set your oven to broil.
First things first you’re going to set up your dredging station. From left to right you’ll want to have your flour on a plate, egg beaten in a bowl, and then breadcrumbs on a plate. I love using these Italian breadcrumbs since a) they’re what my grandma uses and b) you don’t have to add any other seasonings!
Then you’re going to want to have thinner pieces of chicken and there’s a few ways to do this. You can either pound it out, slice it in half, or do both. I just sliced mine right down the middle (and as you can see by the picture, I didn’t do a very good job). Next, dab off the chicken with a paper towel to get rid of excess moisture.
After (behold, my lovely cutting skills LOL)
Now the fun and messy part. First, coat the chicken in flour and dust off all the excess flour. You just want a nice, even, thin layer all around the chicken. Then it goes in to the egg. Again, make sure its coated all over but shake/drip off the excess. Lastly, give it a nice, thick, all-around coating in Italian breadcrumbs. The cleanest way to do this is using the two-hand method and you can read how to do that here! (I opted for the one hand method so I could have a clean hand to take pictures with)
Once your chicken is all breaded, it’s time to prep the oil, In the pan I used to cook this about 2 tablespoons of canola oil covered the bottom enough for me. You want enough oil so that its more than barely covered, but its not enough oil that it would reach the top side of the chicken when you put it in the pan (I hope this makes sense!). I put this pan on medium heat and waited for it to get hot enough. There’s 2 ways to test this: 1) throw some breadcrumbs in and see if it bubbles or 2)stick the bottom of a wooden spoon in and it should start to bubble around the spoon. If it’s not hot enough DON’T PUT THE CHICKEN IN! If you put it in before it’s hot the chicken will just start soaking up the oil rather than actually frying.
(ok i admit I took this a little prematurely, but you can see some bubbles starting to form and how much oil I put in the pan)
Once your oil is hot enough it’s time to place the chicken in. Lay in once piece at a time, laying it away from you. That means putting the edge closest to you in first and putting the end in closest to the back of the stove last. This way the oil splatters will hit the back of your stove rather than you. Now don’t walk away since this cooks pretty quickly. I honestly didn’t keep track of time when I did this, so you really have to trust your eyes. Once you see the sides of the chicken turning golden it’s time to flip! You can check the bottom before you completely flip it, but you want to touch it as little as possible. After you flip it, cook the other side with the same technique. Once both sides are golden brown, lay them on a paper towel to soak up excess oil. At this point you have perfectly amazing chicken milanese. Squeeze a little lemon on top or even throw on some sesame seeds and you’re set!
For chicken parmesan keep reading:
Now is the time to make it extra Italian. Place your milanese on something that’s oven safe whether its a baking sheet, cast iron pan, or pyrex. Next top each piece with 1-2 tablespoons of tomato sauce of your choice and spread it out so the chicken is nice and covered. Then top each piece with 1-2 slices of cheese and a little sprinkle of parmesan. Put this in the oven and let it broil for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbly. This is another step where you can’t walk away because if you leave it under the broiler 15 seconds too long it could burn the cheese. During this time I made quick sautéed spinach with a little oil, garlic, and lemon. Once the chicken looks nice and bubbly, take it out and serve it up!
I served mine with spinach, but you can go the extra step and make it even more Italian by serving it with some spaghetti agile e olio (garlic and oil spaghetti).
If you decide to make a milanese or make the whole shebang with chicken parm and spaghetti, I hope you and whoever you make this for enjoy! Don’t forget to share your pictures once you’ve made it!!