Chicken Milanese is one of my favorite quick-meal options, and it’s one of those recipes that kids enjoy just as much as adults. It only takes 15 minutes to make, and pairs well with virtually any side, whether it’s Kale Caesar Salad, Rice Pilaf, or Crispy Smashed Potatoes!
Crispy chicken is one of those holy grail foods that never goes out of style.
I like a classic deep-fried Fried Chicken every now and then, but a recipe like this is much quicker to make, and also a bit healthier.
A lot of people think you can’t fry with extra virgin olive oil, but you actually can here.
The chicken cutlets are so flat, that all you have to do is add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a skillet, and pan-fry. You get that wonderful crunchy coating while using a healthier oil than the typical soybean or other industrial seed oil.
Tips for Best Results
Dredge properly – When you’re coating the chicken in flour, egg, and bread crumbs, it’s really important to practice good dredging technique. That means making sure to shake off the excess between steps, which will prevent the breading from falling off.
Make sure the chicken pieces are thin – If the meat is too thick, it won’t cook through quickly enough by the time the outside is golden brown. You may purchase cutlets, which are already cut thin, or cut some thin pieces of breast yourself (photos and instruction are below).
Do not overcrowd the pan – This is one of those recipes where you want to respect the size of the skillet you’re using. Don’t try to cook every piece at once, or you won’t get the thorough browning that you want.
This recipe is much like my Parmesan Crusted Chicken, except it’s dairy-free, using flour instead of parmesan cheese for the first coating.
There’s still plenty of flavor despite the simple coating, but you can absolutely sprinkle on some chopped rosemary, or whatever herb or spice you desire onto the chicken milanese, for some extra flavor.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Chicken breast cutlets (thinly sliced)
- All-purpose flour
- Panko Breadcrumbs
- Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
How to Cut Chicken Breast into Cutlets:
You can purchase breast cutlets if you’re willing to pay a bit extra, but I usually do it myself.
Lay a chicken breast flat on a cutting board, and place your hand flatly and firmly on top.
Then take a sharp knife and use a slight back-and-forth motion to glide it through the middle of the breast, keeping firm pressure on top of the meat with your hand.
It’s really important to keep your hands and fingers flat on top of the meat, so you don’t risk cutting yourself.
Each breast piece will give you two thin cutlets, perfect for cooking quickly.
If any part of the cutlet is still too thick, simply flatten it by placing each chicken piece between two pieces of plastic wrap and pounding gently with a meat mallet.
Lay the cutlets out, and season both sides generously with salt and pepper:
I like to season the meat directly, and not bother with seasoning the breading. That way I can get the salt levels perfect each time.
Also, if you wish to add any extra seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, italian seasoning, etc., do it here with the salt.
How to Make It:
First, dip each cutlet into all-purpose flour, making sure to shake off the excess:
Then dip into a beaten egg mixture with a splash of water in it, again letting the excess drip off.
Finally, dip the cutlet into a shallow bowl with bread crumbs.
What kind of bread crumb is best?
A lot of people use regular bread crumbs, but my preference is to use Panko. Panko bread crumbs are a Japanese style bread crumb with a really “fluffy” and crunchy structure that I absolutely love. I honestly don’t even stock my kitchen with regular bread crumbs anymore.
Cook the breaded cutlets in a large skillet with olive oil, for about 4 minutes on each side, over medium to medium-high heat.
The exact heat depends on stove strength, but you’ll want to watch to make sure the outside is not burning or browning too quickly. You want hot oil, but if you see signs of smoking, turn the heat down slightly.
You’ll want to flip each piece over when the bread crumbs are crunchy and golden brown in color:
Once the interior temperature of the meat is 160F, it’s ready to remove from the pan (carryover cooking will bring it to 165F). Remove to a plate lined with paper towels, then serve right away while warm.
If you’re making multiple batches, you may keep the crispy chicken cutlets warm by placing in a 250 F oven. I recommend placing each piece of chicken on a wire rack set on top of a baking sheet so the exterior doesn’t get soggy.
How to Serve It
I find this chicken recipe good enough to eat on its own with a simple green salad on the side, but if you want something a little more special, this Tomato Burrata Salad is amazing with it.
You can also pair it with a variety of sauces like Basil Pesto, Romesco, or Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.
Other heartier side dishes I suggest for serving are Saffron Rice, Creamed Corn, Zucchini Fritters, and Tabbouleh. Enjoy!
More Quick Meat Recipes:
- Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops
- Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps
- Turkey Burgers
- Baked Turkey Meatballs with Mushroom Sauce
FAQ and Tips
Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Yes, in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. If you only want to thaw a few at a time, store each piece with wax paper or parchment paper in between, so they don’t freeze stuck together.
Heat in a 375F oven for 10 minutes until hot and crispy. Or, re-fry over medium heat in a skillet for about 2-3 minutes on each side.
Did you enjoy the recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.
For the Chicken Milanese:
- 1.5 lbs chicken cutlets (6 pieces, cut from 3 breasts)*
- black pepper
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp water
- 1.5 cups panko breadcrumbs
- olive oil (I use extra virgin), about 1/2 cup total may be needed
Side Dishes that Pair Well
- Season the chicken cutlets generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Saltiness varies depending on what brand you use, but my rule of thumb is 3/4tsp per pound of meat.
- Set out three breading bowls, and add the flour in one bowl, the eggs and water in the next, and the panko breadcrumbs in the third bowl. Whisk the eggs and water together until combined.
- Heat a large skillet (I prefer nonstick) over medium heat, and let it preheat while you bread the meat.
- Coat each cutlet in the flour, shake off the excess, then in the egg, shake off the excess, then in the panko breadcrumbs.
- Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the skillet, about 3-4 tbsp. Add the chicken cutlets to the skillet in a single layer, keeping in mind you may need to cook in batches if your skillet is too small.**
- Cook for about 4 minutes on each side, until golden and crispy. Enjoy!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
One Comment on “Chicken Milanese”
My toddler loves this. It’s like a healthier chicken strip but without all the junk. Thank you!