Chicken Milanese is an Italian Classic that’s easy to make and can be on your dinner table in less than 30 minutes. Add a side salad to this restaurant-quality dish, and you’ve got the perfect weeknight meal.
My Chicken Milanese recipe is guaranteed to be better than your favorite Italian restaurant.
This crispy chicken cutlet is an Italian version of a dish that can be found around the world. In Germany, it’s Chicken Schnitzel; in the United States, it’s a fried chicken cutlet that makes its appearance on sandwiches and countless other delicious dishes.
Coated with panko breadcrumbs, then pan-fried until crispy and golden brown, these chicken cutlets are sure to become a family favorite.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. Add your favorite marinara sauce and some shredded mozzarella cheese to my Chicken Milanese, and you’ve got a delicious Chicken Parmesan.
Make up a batch of these flavorful chicken cutlets and freeze them for days you don’t feel like cooking. It makes dinner time easy and delicious!
Ingredients to make Chicken Milanese
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make Chicken Milanese recipe. In Chef Speak, this is called the “Mise en Place,” which translates to “Everything in its Place.”
Not only does setting up your ingredients ahead of time speed up the cooking process, it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
- chicken breasts
- panko breadcrumbs
- grated romano or parmesan cheese
- Italian parsley
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- black pepper
- all-purpose flour
How to make Chicken Milanese
The key to making the perfect Chicken Milanese is in flattening the skinless breasts (which also tenderizes them) with a meat mallet. This makes the chicken breast tender and helps in the cooking process, keeping the breast moist and flavorful.
The chicken breasts should weigh between 4-5 ounces each.
Place the boneless skinless chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound the chicken until the cutlets are about ¼ inch thick.
*If any of the chicken breasts are thicker than half an inch, use a sharp knife to split the chicken breast in half. Think of it as butterflying the breast. You’re just going to cut all the way through to make two cutlets out of one large breast.
Set up the breading station
- Mix the flour, salt, and pepper together.
- Lightly beat the two eggs with ¼ cup of milk or water for the egg wash.
- Mix panko breadcrumbs, romano cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, parsley, and lemon zest together until well blended. *Replace the breadcrumb mixture with Italian breadcrumbs if you want to make this dish even easier.
- Coat the chicken breasts with the seasoned flour. Then place the piece of chicken in the egg mixture and finally in the breadcrumb mixture. Make sure you get a good coating of each ingredient on the chicken breasts, completely coating them with the bread crumbs.
- Add ½ cup of vegetable oil (or olive oil) to a large skillet, then place it over medium-high heat.
- When the oil is hot, carefully place the breaded cutlets into the pan and saute until golden brown (about 3 minutes per side). *The chicken is cooked when the internal temperature has reached 165°F.
Remove the cooked chicken breasts from the pan and place them on a wire rack to drain for one minute. *If you are cooking in batches and need to keep them warm, set your oven at 225 degrees and keep them on the wire rack over a baking sheet in the oven until ready to serve.
Serve the Chicken Milanese with your favorite green salad and any side dishes you enjoy eating.
Store any leftover chicken in an airtight container.
Chicken Milanese finds its origins in Milan, Italy. It was traditionally made with veal, but chicken soon became the more popular version of this classic Italian dish. Thin chicken cutlets are coated with seasoned flour, egg wash, and seasoned bread crumbs, then quick fried till crispy and golden brown.
Milanese (or Milanesa) style means dredging thin slices of floured meat into an egg mixture and seasoned breadcrumbs. The meat is then quickly pan-fried until golden brown and crispy,
Milanese-style cutlets can easily be frozen. Allow the fried cutlets to cool completely, then separate the pieces with parchment paper and place them in a ziplock bag or an airtight container. The cuts can be kept frozen for up to two months.
Good day Chef! I am looking forward to trying this recipe soon, and intent to freeze some for later use as you suggest.
Can you please advise the best way to reheat the frozen cooked cutlets so they stay tender inside and crispy outside?
Thank you so much!
Chef Dennis Littley
Defrost the cutlets, then let them come to room temperature. Place the chicken on a wire rack in a 400°F preheated oven and bake the chicken for 12 to 15 minutes.