When Making Chicken Milanese, Your Marinade Is Everything

Fried chicken breasts on lettuce
Fried chicken breasts on lettuce - Erin Johnson/Mashed

Chicken Milanese is kind of like chicken parmesan -- in that it is coated in parmesan-flavored breadcrumbs and then fried. Unlike the latter, though, it need not be smothered in marinara and mozzarella, but it can instead be served up plain or with a variety of different toppings. While the dish seems to have Italian roots, it's popular in other parts of the world, as well, including Mexico (where it's known as Milanesa de pollo).

Recipes for chicken Milanese vary from cook to cook, and Mashed developer Erin Johnson has made a few tweaks of her own. For one thing, she likes to use two different types of breadcrumbs, explaining, "I find that using all panko can make things have a different texture than they are traditionally." Another way she puts her stamp on the recipe is by using a marinade of capers, olive oil, and garlic. Not all chicken Milanese recipes call for such a step, but Johnson feels that using a marinade "gives the chicken such a depth of flavor." She does say, however, that it's possible to skip the capers if you don't care for these briny little buds.

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You Can Also Add Flavor To Chicken Milanese After Cooking

Raw chicken with capers
Raw chicken with capers - Erin Johnson/Mashed

Erin Johnson tops her chicken Milanese with nothing more than a squeeze of lemon juice and says, "I like to serve this with mashed potatoes or a buttery pasta." So versatile is this simple chicken preparation, though, that there are any number of different ways you can go with it. In Mexico, it's often dished up with a side of rice and beans or stuffed inside of a torta. Meanwhile, in Argentina, Milanesa de pollo may be served with a side of mashed potatoes. Two other Argentinian-style presentations of the dish include an "al caballo" version topped with fried eggs (not horses, despite the name) and a la Napolitana, which is kind of like a cross between chicken cordon bleu and chicken parmesan, since it's topped with sliced ham, mozzarella cheese, and tomato sauce.

You could use your chicken Milanese in an upscale chicken baguette sauced with a schmear of aioli, as this condiment would echo the flavors of the garlic-oil marinade. Another option would be to go Southern-style with white gravy and a side of fried green tomatoes, or slice the chicken thin and use it to top a salad. The leftovers should last for up to three days, so you could even experiment with several different presentations. If you want to reheat the chicken, though, Johnson suggests using the oven or an air fryer, as this will re-crisp the coating better than a microwave might.

Read the original article on Mashed.