Where’s the Pasta?

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If my husband hears that we are having something for dinner that sounds even vaguely Italian, he assumes it’s pasta. This is partly my fault because frequently it is…but not always! The first time dinner was announced as Chicken Milanese he was so excited. There was cheese involved plus seasoned bread crumbs, it was looking good. The crispy chicken was finishing up in the oven and suddenly, there it was - green stuff was going on the plates – no pasta. His look of incredulous disbelief combined with serious disappointment would be hard to replicate. Perhaps a warning would have been in order. But it’s okay, this story has a happy ending – not only did he love Chicken Milanese, he pronounced it his favorite chicken dish and has requested it so many times, he finally wondered why we hadn’t blogged it. Why indeed? Well here it is, you and your friends and family will love this recipe. It involves crispy crunchy chicken sautéed with just a speck of oil, melting into a delicious salad with a tasty balsamic dressing. Honestly, it takes under thirty minutes to assemble - including a rest in the oven - to produce an elegant meal you will be proud to bring to the table. The secret is breading the chicken and then cooking it quickly in a pan sprayed with cooking spray and lightly coated with a little olive oil. 

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The chicken part is simple. Pound two chicken breasts to flatten them. This can be a group activity, you would be surprised how many people can be convinced that hitting chicken is fun. Grab waxed paper and a rolling pin to make it easy. Dip the chicken very lightly in flour, then beaten egg, then panko. I admit to using paper plates or paper towels to hold flour and panko for easy clean-up in seconds. Spray a skillet with cooking spray and add a drizzle of olive oil. Lightly brown chicken on both sides then move the chicken to a hot oven. Put the green stuff on the plate (my husband’s instructions). Add sliced cherry tomatoes and onions if desired. You can use any oil and vinegar dressing you like, but our favorite is listed in the recipe.

There you have it – Chicken Milanese. The ingredients for the salad are up to personal taste and refrigerator content. We love the spicy bite of arugula, but spinach is nice too. Once I tried adding artichoke hearts which did not go over well with my audience – but you can give it a shot. Cucumbers are also banned, but you can play around with the salad ingredients according to the adventurous nature of your dinner crowd. This is one of those amazing dishes that is equally fine for a busy weeknight or weekend company. Make this soon and enjoy the compliments. Green stuff works!

Chicken Milanese


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2 chicken breasts, cut in half and pounded

¼ cup flour

2 eggs, beaten

½ cup panko

2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Salt (or garlic salt)



1 Tbsp olive oil

Cooking spray

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Salad options: arugula and or spinach, cherry tomatoes, sliced onions, cucumbers, olives, parmesan cheese – use your imagination!

Dressing – any balsamic will do. My recipe is equal parts of lemon balsamic vinegar and olive oil with a crush garlic clove and a pinch of salt and pepper. Shake it up in a jar.


Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray skillet with cooking spray and add oil.

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Put flour on one plate, and panko mixed with seasonings and cheese on another.

Dip both sides of each chicken piece in flour, then egg, then panko.

Add to skillet and sauté on each side 2 to 3 minutes until lightly browned.

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Remove chicken to a baking sheet and bake 10 to 12 minutes while assembling the salad.

Add salad greens and other ingredients to individual serving plates.

Mix in salad dressing and top with warm chicken.


© Deer One Publishing 2019