This simple recipe was a family staple in my house.
My mother used to prepare it on Sundays, especially when we had friends and family visiting. Making it always reminds me of cooking alongside my mother as a child and learning how to flatten the chicken with a mallet, which tenderizes the meat, and—usefully—makes a small portion look much more substantial. Frying the chicken lightly in olive oil and cooking it in batches yields an even more flavourful Milanese with each serving, as the oil becomes more and more scented with the aroma of the oregano and pecorino cheese. My favourite way to serve it is classically, with greens and lemon. — R.R.
- 250 ml (1 cup) light olive oil
- 500 ml (2 cups) breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp grated pecorino Romano
- 1 tsp dried oregano (preferably wild)
- 2 eggs
- 500 ml (2 cups) flour
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise, pounded thin, about 5 mm (1⁄4 inch)
- 225 g (8 oz) arugula
- good olive oil
- 75 g (3 oz) Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings
- 4 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut into eighths
- 1 lemon, peel only (reserve lemon)
- 1 bay leaf
- salt, pepper
- 250 ml (1 cup) good olive oil
Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F). Transfer potato segments to a roasting pan. Add lemon peel and bay leaf, season with salt and pepper, and toss. Add oil, mix and transfer to middle rack. Roast until tender and lightly bronzed—about 45 minutes. Set aside to rest.
Meanwhile, to prepare the chicken, transfer oil to a large skillet on medium low. Combine breadcrumbs, cheese and oregano in a bowl, season generously with salt and pepper, mix and set aside. In another bowl beat eggs lightly and set aside. Transfer flour to a platter. Coat each piece of chicken with the flour, then dip in egg and the seasoned bread- crumbs. When the oil reaches 160°C (325°F), add the chicken piecesand brown them all over—about 5 minutes per side. Remove to drain on paper towels. Season with more salt while very hot.
To finish, transfer arugula to a bowl, dress with oil and a squeeze of lemon, season with salt and pepper, and toss. Divide potatoes among 4 warm plates and dress with a squeezeof lemon. Add a chicken cutlet and a handful of greens topped with shavings of Parmesan. Serve with a wedge of lemon.
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