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A breaded cutlet, fried until crisp and golden brown, is Milan's gastronomic gift to the world. How can something so simple be so extraordinary? We'll show you.
This recipe calls for chicken, but veal, pork, and turkey work just as well.
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Homemade breadcrumbs are easy to make and provide more crunch than store-bought varieties. After breading the cutlets, letting them rest in the refrigerator for at least half an hour helps the breading adhere and the cutlets crisp while cooking.
Cut crust from 1 1/2 baguettes. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes; pulse in a food processor in batches to form coarse crumbs (this should yield 5 to 6 cups). Spread on a rimmed baking sheet; dry at room temperature for at least an hour or as long as overnight.
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Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Have ready 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Working with 1 at a time, place on a cutting board, flat side down. Press down on chicken with the palm of one hand, and cut in half horizontally to make 2 cutlets.
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With the flat side of a meat pounder, pound chicken between pieces of plastic wrap until about 1/4 inch thick.
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This recipe calls for marinating the chicken breasts in the eggs for a long time, which will help to keep them moist and tender during cooking.6 of 10
Lightly beat 3 large eggs in a medium bowl. Place 2/3 cup all-purpose flour and breadcrumbs in 2 separate wide, shallow dishes. Season eggs, flour, and chicken with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Working with 1 cutlet at a time, dip into flour, turning to coat and shaking off excess. Dip into egg, and lift out, letting excess drip off. Dip into breadcrumbs, pressing firmly to help them adhere. Transfer to a plate or pan, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. If needed, separate layers with wax paper or parchment paper.Swipe here for next slide7 of 10
If the oil is hot enough, your cutlets won’t be greasy. Drop in a breadcrumb; an instantaneous sizzle will tell you it’s ready. Between batches, turn off the flame and skim away any browned bits. If necessary, add a little oil to the pan to keep the level 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep.
Heat 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil in a 12-inch skillet (oil should be between 1/4 and 1/2 inch deep) over medium-high heat until shimmering; a breadcrumb should sizzle instantly when dropped into oil. Gently place 2 cutlets 3/4 to 1 inch apart in skillet, and fry until undersides are golden brown, 3 1/2 to 4 minutes. Flip cutlets, and fry until cooked through and golden brown on other side, about 2 1/2 minutes more (chicken should feel firm).8 of 10
Browning thoroughly is the secret to crispness and great flavor, so don’t rush this step. To brown evenly, press down on the cutlets' centers a few times. Don't crowd the pan; if your skillet is small, simply cook the cutlets one by one.9 of 10
Good-quality spring-loaded tongs give you the control you need. Before lifting a cutlet out of the oil, hold it vertically over the pan and shake it slightly to drain off the excess. Always flip away from you, and keep the tongs pointing down, so hot oil can’t run onto your hand.10 of 10
Cutlets less than 1/4 inch thick will take 1 to 2 minutes less. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet, and pat off excess oil. Lightly sprinkle with coarse salt, and keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining cutlets, skimming brown bits and adding more oil if necessary. Aside from a squeeze of fresh lemon, a simple salad is all you need with chicken milanese.