Saturday, October 10, 2015

Breaded Chicken Cutlets With Tomatoes and Arugula

Also known as Pollo alla Milanese, this is an Italian dish named after the city of Milano, where differing types of breaded meat fillet preparations are known as a milanesa. You may think of it as the Italian version of the Austrian Wiener Schnitzel.

Julian's Pollo alla Milanese
A milanesa consists of a thin slice of beef, chicken, veal, or sometimes pork, and even eggplants or soy. Each slice is dipped into beaten eggs, seasoned with salt, and other condiments according to the cook's taste (like parsley and garlic), then dipped in bread crumbs and shallow-fried in oil, one at a time. Anytime I have a piece of chicken breast and some salad on hand, I consider making this simple, tasty dish that is easy enough for a work night.


Breading Mixture
a l'anglaise technique"
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons dried chopped parsley
1 tablespoon dried chopped basil leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons water or milk
4 chicken breast halves

Tomato Dressing
4 cups ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons chopped onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey (or sugar)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
4 cups washed and dried fresh arugula


Place each piece of chicken breast between two large pieces of plastic wrap and pound until thin, about 1/3 to 1/4 inch.  Line up three pie plates or flat bowls on your counter, with the chicken cutlets at one end and a baking sheet at the other.

Place the ingredients for the breading mixture into a small food processor, and pulse until the pine nuts are coarsely chopped and ingredients blended.

Place the flour in the first bowl (furthest from the baking sheet) and season with salt and pepper. Place the eggs and water/milk in the second bowl and beat with a fork until combined. Add the breading mixture to the third bowl nearest the baking sheet.

Working with one cutlet at a time, dredge in the flour, then dip into the eggs, and finally the breadcrumbs pressing down with your fingertips to help the crumbs adhere. Place the breaded cutlets on a baking sheet. You can prepare the chicken now or refrigerate until ready for cooking. Refrigeration actually helps the breading mixture to adhere to the chicken, but it is not required.

While the chicken is cooling, cut the tomatoes into halves. Place the garlic, onion, olive oil, vinegar and honey in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir rapidly with a fork or whisk. Add the cut tomatoes and stir gently, then set aside, stirring occasionally.

Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 225F degrees. Line another baking sheet with foil and food release (Pam). In a large, non-stick skillet, heat the oil and butter until melted. Alternatively you may use duck fat or vegetable shortening. Working with one cutlet at a time, fry the chicken on one side until lightly browned and then turn with a fork and fry the other side. Remove the prepared baking sheet. Continue until all the chicken is fried. Place in the warm oven for 5-10 minutes for even heating and to ensure all pieces are cooked through.

Place the chicken onto plates and arrange the arugula on top. Spoon the tomato mixture over the arugula and serve immediately.

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