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Chicken Salad Milanese

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Serves two.

  • To learn more, read:
    Chicken Salad Milanese
  • by Lori Longbotham from Fine Cooking
    Issue 66

Stylish as the city of its origin, this dish is a perfect example of elegant simplicity. It’s also one of those rare restaurant dishes that you can easily make at home.

  • 1 Tbs. minced shallot
  • 2 tsp. red-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 small clove garlic, mashed to a paste with 1/4 tsp. salt with the side of a chef's knife
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium (6-oz.) ripe tomato, cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup dry homemade or store-bought medium-fine breadcrumbs (see below for instructions on making your own breadcrumbs)
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 4 oz. baby arugula, washed and spun dry (4 cups loosely packed)

Whisk together the shallot, vinegar, mustard, garlic paste, and a large pinch of pepper in a large bowl. Add 2 Tbs. of the olive oil in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly, until the dressing emulsifies. Add the tomatoes to the vinaigrette and set aside until ready to serve, up to 2 hours.

Mix 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper in a small cup. Pound the chicken to 3/8 inch thick between two sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Season with some of the salt and pepper.

Beat the egg in a wide shallow bowl until smooth. Spread the breadcrumbs on a plate. Dip a chicken breast into the egg, coating thoroughly and shaking off any excess. Then dip it into the breadcrumbs, patting on the crumbs so both sides are well coated and shaking off any excess. Lay the breaded breast on a sheet of waxed paper. Repeat with the other chicken breast.

Heat the butter and 2 tsp. olive oil in a heavy, large (preferably 12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot enough to sizzle a breadcrumb, add the chicken breasts, keeping them separated. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Season each breast with some of the salt and pepper, gently turn over with tongs, taking care to keep the golden crust intact, and cook until the second side is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Watch carefully and don't let the crumbs get too dark. Season with salt and pepper and drain for just a moment on paper towels.

To serve, add the arugula to the vinaigrette and tomatoes and toss. Arrange the sautéed chicken on warm serving plates and top each with a tall pile of the salad.

Chicken Salad Milanese Recipe

To shape salad greens into tall stacks, lightly dress the greens and pack them loosely in a clean plastic container; pints work well. Invert the container onto a salad plate, lift it away, and voilà—a statuesque salad.

For extra crunch, make your own dry breadcrumbs: Italian cooks generally make their own breadcrumbs from day-old bread. Homemade breadcrumbs aren't a must for this recipe, but if you have day-old bread and would like to make them, here's how:

  • Begin with good, coarse-textured white bread. Trim the crusts, tear the bread into small pieces, spread on a baking sheet, and toast in a 350°F oven until the bread is dry but not brown.
  • When cool, toss the bread into a food processor and pulse into medium-fine crumbs, about the size of couscous grains.

Serving Suggestions

For a fresh start to the meal, serve Ricotta Bruschetta with Lemon, Black Pepper, and Mint.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on two servings; Calories (kcal): 700; Fat (g): 39; Fat Calories (kcal): 350; Saturated Fat (g): 12; Protein (g): 39; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 21; Carbohydrates (g): 47; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 5; Sodium (mg): 1760; Cholesterol (mg): 210; Fiber (g): 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Simply OUTSTANDING! I have never really been a fan of arugula, however my boyfriend is so I was willing to give arugula another chance with this recipe. I am so glad I did! The bitterness of the arugula was such a great combination with this chicken and my bf loved it. I will definitely be making this again!

This recipe is one of my favorite recipes from Fine Cooking. I've made it countless times since it was first published. The sharpness of the dressing contrasts nicely with the richness of the crumb crust. I,too, also toss a handful of grated Parmesan into the bread crumbs. Sometines I'll add some panko crumbs to the crumbs.

This is fantastic; dressing is wonderful. I did not have arugula but used spinach. I also added crisped prosciutto and used a heirloom yellow tomato. My husband said add this to the "Make often" list!! Great recipe.

Easy and tasty weeknight meal. Done in less than 45 start to finish. Served it with garlic bread to round the meal out. I will try the parmigiano-reggiano next time. My picky husband loved it!

This is a staple in my house. I quadruple the recipe so there is enough for 4 to 6 people. I add parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to the bread crumbs and to the salad after it has been tossed. Delicious blend of flavors, especially with the arugula. Buttery, salty and peppery. Always a huge hit! Can't believe I am the first to rate this recipe. Michele Discovery Bay, CA

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