This is a variation on the classic Milanese veal dish that can be found on restaurant menus and, because it is as quick and easy as it is delicious, in private homes. The veal cutlet is breaded and fried, then topped with a chopped "salad" of tomatoes and sometimes greens. It is served just warm or at room temperature. Oil and vinegar are placed at the table and each guest dresses the dish to his taste.
In my version, chicken breasts replace the veal, and the dish is topped with a generous salad of chopped arugula and tomatoes. Along with the oil and vinegar, I usually place a chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino cheese and a cheese shaver on the table for those who desire additional flavor.
3 chicken breasts, boned,
skinned, halved, and pounded
into 1/4-inch-thick cutlets (6 pieces)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 to 1-1/3 cups focaccia bread crumbs
or other herbed bread crumbs
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for serving
6 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into large dice
3/4 pound arugula, coarsely chopped
White wine vinegar
6 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil (optional)
Wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino cheese (optional)
Dredge the chicken cutlets in the flour, then dip into the egg, letting the excess drop off. Coat the pieces thoroughly with the bread crumbs.
Heat half of the oil in a heavy skillet that will hold three cutlets comfortably. When the oil is hot enough to sizzle, add the first batch of cutlets and fry them until the coating is evenly golden brown and the chicken is done, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Adjust the heat as necessary. Set the cutlets aside. Add the remaining oil to the skillet and repeat the process with the remaining cutlets.
Arrange the chicken on individual serving plates. Divide the arugula and tomatoes over the cutlets. Pass the olive oil, vinegar, basil, and cheese at the table.
Suggested Wine: A good Soave.
The Artful Chicken
By Linda Arnaud
Stewart Tabori & Chang, 2000
Hardback, $ 29.95
Color photographs throughout
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created June 2001
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