Anna’s Test Kitchen – Chicken Milanese deconstructed
I'm always looking for new ways to cook chicken. While a simple, whole roasted bird is my preferred method, part of what's fantastic about poultry is its versatility. I was curious when I came across a recipe in Bon Appetit and now I just have to share. It's a variation of an old favourite and it is seriously addictive.
Milanese is a common Italian dish using flattened meat (often veal but also chicken, pork or eggplant) which is breaded and fried. Chicken parmigiana is a variation which includes cheese and tomato sauce (or some adaptation of such) and is rich, delicious comfort food at its best. Personally I like to lighten it up by serving the breaded chicken topped with an arugula salad and roasted cherry tomatoes.
The chicken milanese recipe from BA caught my eye because it includes a creamy sauce made with Maggi seasoning – a product I’d never heard of but is apparently the secret ingredient in many dishes out there with that certain earthy oomph; a meaty je ne sais quois if you will.
The link to the recipe is below, but first a few tips on it and milanese in general:
- The BA recipe calls for mayonnaise. I used half Hellman’s (a staple in my kitchen) and half Kewpie, the Japanese brand that’s a bit thinner and tangier. It created a good balance. Kewpie is widely available. I get it at my local produce store.
- If you don’t know Maggi seasoning, go a bit lighter then the recipe calls for at first as a little goes a long way. Taste and add a bit more if it needs it.
- I used more lemon juice then the recipe called for.
- Use your mandolin to slice the cucumber and radishes nice and thin.
- When making any milanese, don’t forget to salt the meat before you dredge. It makes a big difference.
- Many recipes suggest vegetable oil for frying. I prefer grapeseed oil as it has a lighter, milder taste.
- Traditional milanese calls for regular fine breadcrumbs, but Japanese style panko breadcrumbs are bigger and give a nice crunchy coating.
- Get the butcher to pound the chicken cutlets for you. Less work when you get home and they’ll probably do a better job anyway.
I love the cucumber and radish medley atop each piece of chicken in this recipe as it creates balance with the chicken and creamy sauce. And while I was tempted to fiddle with the simple white vinegar, salt and sugar dressing the recipe includes for the vegetables, I’m glad I didn’t because the way it’s written is perfect.
Somehow this makes an ideal summer-to-fall transition dish, if that makes any sense. It’s also suitable for a crowd as it can be served room temperature and kids love that it tastes like chicken fingers (some kids won’t like the sauce of course).
Here’s the link to the recipe.
What time should I be over?