Chicken Milanese

Yes, it’s another tested recipe from the world of LC. Two in a row! We go through a lot of recipes every month. They don’t always make the cut, so if it’s on the site you can trust that it’s tasty and you won’t run into problems if you follow the directions. We aren’t allowed to make any changes to a recipe while testing it, even if it means going against our better judgement. How else can we ensure each step is correct unless we do exactly as told? Once we’ve gone through one round of testing, though, we can tweak it and comment on how we think we could make the recipe easier or more flavorful or just different. If we find that cooking times are way off or some part of the instructions just doesn’t work, that recipe just may not get posted to begin with. We’ve also had a hand in retesting posted recipes if they get complaints. So, if you’ve tried a recipe you’ve found on Leite’s Culinaria and you’re pretty sure the problem didn’t lie with you, send someone a note. On the flip side, if you made something delicious, it’s nice to hear some praise, too!

The Chicken Milanesecomes from the same Ron Finamore book Tasty: Get Good Food on the Table Every Day. The fact that I highly enjoyed two recipes from this book and have no inclination to tweak them probably means I should buy it. As with the Tomato Pie recipe, you can also have this recipe as a .pdf.

I am wary of fried foods. I know Alton Brown has shown that, when done correctly, fried foods only absorb a tiny tiny amount of oil, but it still doesn’t seem healthy. But, I am a good tester and I soldiered on for the good of the group. I also find it easy to rationalize questionable decisions if someone somewhere may benefit, even a little.

This is an awesome dish. Not only do you get a crunchy, tasty, moist chicken but you also get a perfectly paired salad with dressing – all on the same page! Plus, it is quick to put together which means you can make this on a weekday, even after coming home from work when perhaps ordering Thai food sounds like a good idea. You should have all these ingredients already in your kitchen (except for Pecorino cheese, which is not essential to this dish – just add more salt). I do admit that frozen chicken does not taste as good as fresh chicken, but I’m willing to overlook that minor detail in favor of the convenience of having chicken without an addtional trip to the grocery store. Plus, once you fry these suckers up, you probably won’t be able to tell the difference anyway.

Bread crumbs are good for breading, but panko is even better. You get a lighter texture that is more flaky-crispy rather than crunchy-crispy. Panko is getting popular and I’ve seen it right next to bread crumbs in the grocery store. Do not buy that kind of panko. It is way too expensive! First, check to see if there is an Asian foods aisle. Is there panko there? Is it cheaper? If so, buy that. If not, let’s hope you have an Asian grocery store somewhere. The most popular chain is 99 Ranch. You will find bags and bags of panko, under all sorts of different brands, looking totally identical – all for about $2. Much better.

You all know to use the wet hand-dry hand method when breading meats, right? You use one hand to touch the chicken breast and the wet stuff (eggs) and the other hand to touch the dry stuff (flour, panko). This doesn’t keep you from making a total mess, but it does help keep your hand from getting all globby with egg and flour.

The salad dressing method described in this recipe – tossing with oil and then tossing with vinegar – works so well that it is now my default way to dress lettuce. I don’t even make a vinaigrette anymore.

I have now given you two wonderful recipes that will make your tummy happy for two reasons: it is good food and you don’t have to wait hours before eating.

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