This tasty chicken Milanese is a simple weeknight meal. Each piece of meat is dipped in a savory bread crumb mixture before being pan-fried till golden brown and crispy. In only 30 minutes, you’ll have a meal ready to go!
A fancy term for delicate chicken pieces that have been breaded and deep-fried till crispy is chicken Milanese. It really is as easy and wonderful as it sounds! I’ll walk you through the process of coating the meat for a crispy crust and prepping the meat step-by-step. Boring poultry pieces become a fascinating supper by adding the extra layer of bread crumbs.
To guarantee speedy and consistent cooking, the breast is thinly chopped into cutlets. To make sure the crust stays on, I use the standard breading procedure. The development of the meat’s texture depends on frying it in oil with a high smoke point and neutral flavor. For a complete Italian meal, serve with spaghetti, a crisp caesar salad, and garlic bread.
Use boneless, skinless chicken breast for a lean protein that cooks quickly. Compared to thighs, this cut flattens more easily. Select two breasts that weigh more than 12 ounces and chop them into thinner cutlets. You may also use four smaller breasts, each weighing between 6 and 8 ounces. These merely need to be pounded flat using a meat mallet.
Cut and flatten the chicken
It’s crucial to pound the chicken to an equal thickness for consistent cooking. The breast tapers down after being fairly thick at one end. The pieces are first divided into two cutlets by cutting them in half crosswise. On the broadest end, this produces sections that are roughly ½-inch thick.
With a meat mallet, now flatten the cutlets. For minimal mess, I like to put them between sheets of plastic wrap or in a large plastic bag. They will be significantly wider if you pound the meat to a thickness of ¼-inch. This action tenderizes the proteins and prevents them from shrinking too tightly when cooked.
Selection of bread crumbs
I love Japanese-style bread crumbs because they are light and flaky. Because of its uneven form, I find the crust to be crunchier. I use them to make the crust on my chicken parmesan extra crispy. Other varieties of breadcrumbs, however, can be employed.
Traditional simple bread crumbs are finer in texture, resulting in a more compact crust. If you can’t locate panko, making your own breadcrumbs is a great alternative.
Preparing the chicken
The standard breading procedure is the key to obtaining a highly crispy golden brown crust on the fried chicken. Season the surface of the meat with salt and pepper before applying any coatings for layers of flavor.
Flour Layer: Flour seasoned with salt and pepper. This is the primer that aids in the adhesion of the egg mixture to the meat. Remove any extra flour!
Egg Layer: Olive oil and egg mixture The fat aids in the crisping of the coating below.
Bread Layer: Panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, dry Italian herbs, and lemon zest Press this layer in good to the meat so that the crispy bread fills every gap.
Fry the chicken
To cook the breaded chicken pieces, use the shallow pan-frying method. I find that frying them in a big 12-inch nonstick pan or cast iron skillet is the most convenient method. For cooking, use a high smoke point oil such as vegetable, avocado, or light olive oil. You want enough to coat the bottom of the pan and completely immerse the chicken.
To begin browning the light panko bread crumbs, cook the first side over medium-high heat. Flip it after around 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium to allow the meat to cook fully without scorching the crust. I like to soak up the extra hot grease by transferring them to a paper towel for 15 seconds.
Place a wire rack set on top of a sheet pan so the bottom doesn’t get soggy as you fry the next batch. You can also keep them in an oven set at 200ºF (93ºC) to stay warm before serving.
Cut and garnish
For a spectacular display, slice the crispy pieces or serve whole. Garnish with parsley, chives, basil, or oregano, if desired. With lemon slices, serve. Lemon juice brightens the acidity and enriches the taste.
Serve this with
- Caesar salad
- Green salad with balsamic vinaigrette
- Garlic bread
- Rosemary focaccia
- One-pot tomato pasta
In just 30 minutes, you can have delicious crispy chicken Milanese ready to serve! A quick and simple evening meal that the entire family will appreciate.
Flatten the ChickenThoroughly dry the chicken breasts with a paper towel. Cut each piece horizontally lengthwise to make two thinner cutlets, four total. Place one of the pieces between two plastic sheets or a large plastic bag and flatten to an even ¼-inch thickness. Repeat with remaining pieces. Generously season both sides of the chicken breast with salt and pepper.
Set up the Breading Station
In one shallow bowl, mix the flour, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper. In a second shallow bowl, whisk together eggs and olive oil. In a third shallow bowl, combine panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and lemon zest.
Bread the Chicken
Dip the chicken in flour, shaking off any excess coating. Next, dip in egg mixture, coat completely, and drain any excess. Lastly, dip in the breadcrumbs, pressing to coat evenly. Repeat the process with the remaining pieces.
Pan-fry the Chicken
Heat ⅓ cup of vegetable oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, carefully place two chicken pieces in the pan. Fry until the first side is golden brown and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and flip the chicken. Cook until an internal temperature of 160 to 165ºF (71 to 74ºC), about 2 to 4 minutes.
Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to briefly drain the excess oil for 15-seconds. Place on a wire cooling rack set on top of a sheet pan. Discard the extra oil and wipe the pan clean. Add ⅓ cup of fresh vegetable oil, and repeat the same cooking procedure with the two remaining pieces.
Serve garnished with parsley and lemon wedges.
- Amount Per Serving
- Calories 335
- Calories from Fat 90
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat 10g16%
- Saturated Fat 3g15%
- Trans Fat 0.03g
- Cholesterol 295mg99%
- Sodium 716mg30%
- Potassium 725mg21%
- Total Carbohydrate 21g8%
- Dietary Fiber 1g4%
- Sugars 1g
- Protein 44g88%
- Vitamin A 5%
- Vitamin C 4%
- Calcium 10%
- Iron 17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
- Storing: Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Reheating: Reheat individual pieces in the microwave on high power in 15 to 30-second intervals until hot. Alternatively, place on a foil-lined sheet pan and bake at 375ºF (191ºC) until hot and crispy, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Using Smaller Pieces: Four chicken breasts, about 6 to 8 ounces, can be used. Flatten until ¼-inch thick.
- Bread crumbs: Traditional fine Italian breadcrumbs can be used but won’t be as crunchy.
- Make Ahead: The chicken can be breaded, covered, and refrigerated for 1 day before cooking.
- Baking: Bake chicken in the middle of the oven at 450ºF (232ºC) on top of a wire rack set on a foil-lined sheet pan until the internal temperature reaches between 160 to 165ºF (71 to 74ºC), about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Make it Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free flour and breadcrumbs.