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Pollo alla Milanese

Chicken in breadcrumbs (Milanese Style)

Chicken Milanese

When should I make it?

Children love this dish and it is a great way of using up left over bread. It's quick and easy to make too.

You can make it with chicken breast or chicken thighs. Personally, I prefer chicken thighs - they're more succulent and they're less expensive too!

How long will it take?

This is a quick supper dish that shouldn't take you more than about 15 minutes to make.

What ingredients do I need?

 You will need:

  • Boneless chicken breasts (1 per person) or thighs (1-2 per person)
  • Stale bread for breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • Plain flour for dusting
  • Seasoning and herbs – Salt & Black Pepper
  • Olive oil

Can I use any alternatives if I can find certain ingredients?

You could make the same recipe with different meats. Veal escalopes is the most common alternative. I also like to make this recipe with lamb cutlets though.
What preparation do I need to do / what can I do in advance?

If you don't have any breadcrumbs, you will need to make some by grinding down some stale bread into crumbs using a food processor. Please do not use shop bought breadcrumbs, I've yet to discover good quality ones and this is a great way of using up stale bread - following the Italian kitchen philosophy of not wasting anything!

As with most things in Italian cooking, the key is good quality ingredients and simplicity. So the better bread you use the better the results. (For Londoners, there's only one place for great Italian bread "Exeter Street Bakery").

Chicken Milanese

What are the main steps?
  1. Place chicken on a board and cover with a sheet of cling film
  2. With a suitable hammer like device (use a rolling pin if you need to), take out all your frustration on the chicken and beat it down into thin escalopes
  3. Season the chicken escalopes with salt and pepper.
  4. Coat the escalopes in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, then egg again and then breadcrumbs again to ensure they're nicely coated.
  5. Lightly fry the breaded chicken in olive oil until nicely golden then remove from pan and remove any excess oil by placing on kitchen towel. Be sure not to cook the chicken on a very high heat which may well cook the breadcrumbs but may not cook the chicken inside.

How should I serve it?

Serve with lemon slice and accompany with a nice salad or vegetables and potatoes. Traditionally, however, this dish is often served with spaghetti with a Napolitana (tomato) sauce

Are there any variations to this recipe that I could try?

Try adding some rosemary and parmasan to the mixture as you're making your breadcrumbs.

What are the origins of this recipe?

As the name suggests, this style of cooking meat originates from Milan. 

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