Chicken Milanese with Arugula Salad and Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette
Capri, my favorite Italian restaurant, made the perfect chicken Milanese. I get hungry just thinking about it. When they didn’t reopen after quarantine, I was completely devastated. Well, I didn’t let the heartbreak keep me down long—I just got to the kitchen and started experimenting. Not to toot my own horn, but I think I nailed it. I find this classic Italian recipe very easy to make. I hope you love it as much as I do!
What is chicken Milanese, anyway?
The original Chicken Milanese wasn’t even made of chicken—my recipe is a variation on a traditional Italian cotoletta alla Milanese, or a breaded and fried veal cutlet. The chicken version is more popular on this side of the pond, and for good reason.
What do you serve with chicken Milanese?
Whoever thought of topping these delicious chicken cutlets with a simple cherry tomato and arugula salad... Brilliant. A balsamic vinaigrette over peppery arugula makes for a delicious summery meal, and it all comes together in no time at all. It's my go-to meal when I am pressed for time.
Select a larger boneless, skinless chicken breast.
It will be easier to work with. If you need 4 pieces of pounded chicken, purchase two chicken breasts that weigh 9–10 ounces each.
Clean and freeze the chicken breasts before you cut them.
Clean the chicken breasts of any excess fat and membrane and place them in the freezer for 20 minutes before you start working with them. That extra chill makes cutting the breasts into filets much easier.
Take your time cutting them properly!
When you’re ready to cut each chicken breast in half, here’s how: Arrange the chicken breasts on your cutting board, then place your palm flat against the top of one. Holding the meat down with your hand, carefully slice each chicken breast in half horizontally.
Pound the chicken using waxed or parchment paper and the flat side of a meat pounder.
Pounding the chicken will ensure the filets cook evenly. You can place the chicken breasts between pieces of waxed paper or parchment paper. Sometimes I even put them in a freezer bag. Use a flat meat pounder to gently but firmly pound the chicken pieces until they are uniform in width.
Pro tip: What do you do if you don’t have a meat pounder?
If you don’t have a meat pounder, use a rolling pin or even a heavy pan or can. Avoid using a meat mallet that has “teeth,” which will tear the meat apart.