Though clearly I wear the apron in my family, this is the recipe I laid on the kitchen counter with a note saying, “Please make this for me for Mother’s Day.”
I love the contrast between the hot crispy chicken and the cool cherry tomato and herby salad, but this is also just fantastic at room temperature. If you are planning to serve it at room temperature, let the chicken cool before topping it with the salad, so the salad won’t wilt too much and the chicken won’t get soggy. There is a little kick from the Dijon and the cayenne, and you can up the amounts if you want more spiciness.
You can really use any combination of herbs and lettuces for the salad. I am a sucker for the way the bite of arugula plays against all kinds of rich savory foods, so it’s my go-to lettuce for toppings like this, but spinach, watercress, mustard greens or baby greens of any kind would also be great.
Spicy Chicken Milanese
Start to finish: 30 minutes
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
8 thin sliced chicken cutlets (about 4 ounces each)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups baby arugula
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup whole parsley leaves
1/4 cup whole chervil leaves (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Shaved or grated Parmesan cheese to serve
In a wide, shallow bowl, beat the eggs with the mustard, cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In another wide shallow bowl, mix the panko with the Parmesan. Dip the chicken cutlets in the egg mixture, and allow any excess to drip back into the bowl. Dredge the cutlets in the panko mixture, pressing the chicken down so that the crumbs adhere. Place the cutlets on a baking sheet.
In a large skillet (the largest you have) heat 1/2 cup olive oil over medium high heat until hot. Cook the chicken in batches, without crowding the cutlets in the pan, until they are nicely browned on both sides and cooked throughout, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter, or place two cutlets on four individual plates.
While the chicken is cooking, place the arugula, tomatoes, parsley and chervil (if using) in a medium bowl. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon olive oil and the lemon juice over the greens, and season with salt and pepper. Toss, and place a mound of the salad on top of each cutlet, or just strew the whole salad mixture over the chicken on a serving platter. Top the salad with the shaved or grated Parmesan and serve.