Glam up chicken breasts with this simple Chicken Milanese recipe, inspired by the brioche crumbed chicken breast at The Ivy City Garden in London. The chicken escalopes are crisp and crunchy, yet light and juicy on the inside. With a zesty squeeze of lemon and a fresh Italian-style salad, it’s an easy dinner recipe for two.
For more delicious dinner ideas for two, check out my growing collection of Italian recipes. I recommend trying the Italian figs with mozzarella and parma ham, which was inspired by the River Café in London.
Italian cotoletta: what is chicken Milanese?
Chicken Milanese is an Italian-style breaded chicken escalope. It is prepared in a similar way to veal alla Milanese, which is widely regarded as one of Milan’s signature dishes. A chicken breast is flattened before being lightly coated in egg, flour and breadcrumbs. It is pan-fried in butter and typically served with a wedge of lemon. Often the chicken is cooked on the bone in the cotoletta style. Variations of chicken Milanese may sometimes use Japanese panko, French brioche, German pretzels or most other breadcrumbs.
Chicken Milanese with a brioche crumb
Making a breaded chicken escalope is a little bit messy, but it’s well worth the effort. Coating the chicken with a brioche crumb is much easier than it sounds. And it’s a great way to use up any stale bread too.
Prepare the brioche breadcrumbs first. If you have some stale brioche it’s a really great way to use it up. Place it straight in a food processor and blitz until smooth. To use fresh brioche, you will need to dry it out first. Simply place it in the oven on a low heat for about 30 minutes, before popping it in the food processor.
Next, lay out three large and flat bowls. This will be your breading station. In the first bowl, add the plain flour. This will coat the chicken breast so that the brioche crumb coating sticks to it properly. In the second bowl, add two eggs. Beat the eggs with a fork until the yolk and whites are combined. And finally, in the third bowl, pour in some of the breadcrumbs. You can top this up with more breadcrumbs as needed. If you don’t use them all, you can store the leftovers in a sealed container in the freezer for several weeks.
Stop! Meat hammer time
Now for the fun part: flattening the chicken. Place a kitchen towel on the work surface and put a wooden chopping board on top. This helps to cushion the board so that it’s not so noisy. Lay the chicken breast out on top of the board and pound it with a meat hammer or tenderizer. The meat should roughly double in size, which will take about one minute per breast. Finally, cut the breast in half so that it’s easier to cook.
Move over to your breading station. Using one hand, coat the chicken breast in the flour, the egg and then finally the breadcrumbs. Try to avoid using both hands, because things can get messy quickly and you’ll end up spending most of your time washing your hands. Add more breadcrumbs if you need them.
Melt a big knob of butter over a medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the breaded chicken escalope and fry for about five minutes on each side, until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and the chicken is cooked throughout. You may need to add a little more butter while the chicken is cooking. After about 10 minutes, serve with a sprinkling of salt, a hearty squeeze of fresh lemon and a generous side salad.
A quick and easy chicken Milanese recipe
- 150 g brioche
- 2 large breasts of chicken
- 4 tbsp plain flour
- 2 large eggs
- 150 g brioche breadcrumbs
- 50 g lightly salted butter
- A sprinkle of sea salt
- A wedge of lemon
Place the fresh brioche in a pre-heated oven at 160 degrees Celsius for about 30 minutes. You can skip this step if you are using stale brioche.
Blitz the brioche in a food processor until smooth.
Prepare three large and flat bowls. Place the plain flour in the first. Beat the eggs in the second. And add the brioche breadcrumbs to the third.
Flatten the chicken breasts with a meat tenderizer. Hammer each breast until the meat has roughly doubled in size. After about one minute, cut the flattened breast in half.
Coat the chicken breast in the flour, the egg and then finally the breadcrumbs. Try to avoid using both hands, because things can quickly get very messy.
Melt a big knob of butter over a medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the breaded chicken escalope and fry for about five minutes on each side, until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and the chicken is cooked throughout. You may need to add a little more butter while the chicken is cooking.
Serve with a sprinkling of salt and a hearty squeeze of fresh lemon. Chicken Milanese makes a great dinner with an Italian-style salad.