Chicken Milanese With Mesclun Salad is a super flavorful, quick and easy 30-minute dinner for any night of the week, but it’s also fancy enough for guests!
This is one of my all-time favorite recipes! Why? The flavor is absolutely incredible, and it’s super simple to make! Breaded pieces of thin boneless chicken breast are fried to golden brown, crispy perfection and topped with a fresh salad of mesclun greens and tomatoes tossed with homemade maple balsamic vinaigrette. Sounds amazing, right?
YES!! It is! There’s just something about the flavor of the crispy chicken together with the lightly-dressed salad that is out-of-this-world delicious. Don’t eat the salad separately. Put it right on top of that piece of chicken and grab a little bit with every bite!
This meal is totally kid-friendly too. I mean it’s basically one big homemade chicken nugget! If they aren’t sure about the salad, you could always just make them their favorite veggie to go with it.
WHAT IS CHICKEN MILANESE?
Chicken Milanese is a dish that originated in Milan, Italy and is simply a thin cutlet of chicken that is breaded and fried. It’s usually served as is (no sauce to ruin that awesome crisp crust!) with a simple salad.
Traditionally, Milanese is made with a veal cutlet, but using chicken has become very popular. You could also use thin pork or even beef.
WHAT IS MESCLUN?
If you aren’t familiar with mesclun, it’s just a mix of young salad greens. You can find it in most grocery stores these days (it might be labeled as spring mix).
The variety of greens in mesclun vary. It could include greens such as arugula, chervil, red oak leaf, green oak leaf, baby spinach, endive, radicchio, mizuna, red chard, tatsoi, tango, mache (lamb’s lettuce), frisee, red romaine, green romaine, and a variety of other leaf lettuces.
I’m growing some mesclun this year in my garden, and we’ve been enjoying it all kinds of ways for the past few weeks! Isn’t it gorgeous?! (Yes, this is the second time I’ve shown it – I’m proud of my lettuce, okay?!!)
You could substitute other tender greens like arugula, watercress, or baby spinach. They would be equally as delicious. You could even get away with romaine. Iceberg, however, will not do. I’m a big fan of a good iceberg lettuce salad (and not ashamed to admit it!), but it’s just not what you want to use for this particular recipe.
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED:
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts or cutlets
- Salt and pepper
- All-purpose flour
- Italian seasoned regular breadcrumbs
- Italian seasoned Panko breadcrumbs
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Olive oil (regular or light)
- Mesclun greens
- Cherry or grape tomatoes
- Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Shredded Parmesan cheese
For really good Chicken Milanese, you want the chicken to be THIN. You can either buy cutlets or make your own by cutting a chicken breast in half lengthwise into cutlets and then pounding them thin (they should be about ¼ inch thick – no more!). Not only do they cook up quickly, pounding them out makes the chicken more tender!
I use two kinds of breadcrumbs because regular breadcrumbs give good coverage while the Panko gives you a superior crunch!
For the dressing, I use my homemade Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette. You could, of course, use your favorite vinaigrette (a heavy dressing isn’t really recommended here) – BUT you really should give making homemade dressing a try. It takes less than 5 minutes!
The grated Parmesan is for the breading on the chicken, while the shredded Parmesan is for topping the salad because it looks nicer with the shredded cheese.
HERE’S A QUICK LOOK AT HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN MILANESE WITH MESCLUN SALAD:
For maximum crispiness, Chicken Milanese is best served immediately.
However, if you do it the right way, you can reheat the leftover chicken and have it darn close to the day you fried it. Place the chicken on a wire rack on a baking sheet. Reheat at 325°F just until heated through and crispy (about 15 to 20 minutes), turning them halfway through the cooking time.
Just be careful not to overcook them when you reheat them so that you don’t end up with dry chicken (although it would still be delicious dry chicken – the coating is awesome!).
BONUS!! You can use the Chicken Milanese (without the salad) for other recipes, too! Top it with some marinara sauce and cheese, and you’ve got some darn good Chicken Parmesan! Slice it up and top a salad for a homemade crispy chicken salad. Put it on a bun with some lettuce, tomato, cheese, and mayo (or some other sauce) for a delicious sandwich. There are LOTS of possibilities!
I hope you try this recipe for Chicken Milanese With Mesclun Salad and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!
Chicken Milanese With Mesclun Salad
- 4 chicken breast cutlets (4 ounces each) or 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (8 ounces each) halved lengthwise to make 4 cutlets
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ cup milk
- ½ cup Italian seasoned regular breadcrumbs
- ½ cup Italian seasoned Panko breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (regular or light), divided
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 4 cups mesclun greens
- 4 tablespoons Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 12 cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
- 4 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
MAKE THE CHICKEN MILANESE:
- Gently pound the chicken cutlets (if they are not already thin enough) with a meat mallet between two sheets of plastic wrap or waxed paper until they are ¼ inch thick. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place the flour in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, combine the eggs and milk. In a third shallow bowl, combine the regular breadcrumbs, the Panko breadcrumbs, and the grated Parmesan cheese.
- Lightly dredge each piece of chicken in the flour, then dip in the egg mixture, and then coat with the breadcrumbs.
- In a large skillet (I use a 12-inch cast iron skillet), heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. Add two pieces of the breaded chicken, and fry for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until the chicken is golden brown and crispy and cooked through. Note: Watch the heat and adjust as needed. You don't want it so hot that the breading gets too dark before the chicken cooks through, but you want it hot enough that the breading gets nicely golden and crispy.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and place on a wire rack placed on a baking sheet. Do not cover. It should stay warm enough while you cook the remaining chicken, but if you want, you can put it in a 200°F oven to keep it warm.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan and cook the other 2 pieces of chicken.
MAKE THE MESCLUN SALAD:
- If you didn't make the Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette in advance, go ahead and make it while the chicken is cooking.
- In a large bowl, toss the mesclun greens and tomatoes with the Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette. Note: You won't need all of the vinaigrette for this recipe. I use 4 tablespoons, but use more or less depending on your tastes.
- For each serving, place one piece of the chicken on the plate, top with ¼ of the mesclun salad, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese.
- You could speed up the cooking time by using two skillets and cooking all of the chicken at the same time instead of in two batches. Don’t try to crowd all 4 pieces into one pan at the same time because the chicken likely won’t get very crispy.
- If you have any leftover chicken, it actually reheats very well! When storing in the refrigerator, don’t stack the pieces on top of one another unless you separate them with waxed paper first. To reheat, place the chicken on a wire rack placed on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 325°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or just until heated through and crispy, turning once halfway through.