Milanese is a breaded meat cutlet that is traditionally dredged in an egg, flour and breadcrumb mixture and pan-fried. I’m offering a healthier version on this Italian classic. By only dredging in oil and panko, and baking verses frying, you can still achieve a deliciously, crunchy coating.
You’ll find milanese often served with an arugula and/or tomato salad on top. But in addition, I was craving something a bit warmer on this cold night. This mushroom and spinach ragu pairs very nicely with the chicken cutlet. Overall, this is a delicious meal that you can feel good about enjoying! 🙂
The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat and Cuisine For Two):
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied open
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup panko
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 large shallot, sliced
- 3 containers (8 oz each) sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 3/4 cup diced fresh tomatoes, use whatever you have
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- 3/4 bag (9 oz) baby spinach
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tsp minced fresh thyme, or a dusting of dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
To butterfly the chicken, cut breasts in half lengthwise almost to the end, just be careful not to cut all the way through. Unfold the top half to lay flat. Whisk 1/3 cup of olive oil with the lemon zest in a medium bowl. Add the cutlets and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450.
Combine the panko and parmesan in a shallow dish. Dredge the marinated chicken breasts in the panko mixture, pressing the chicken into the mixture to adhere. I eyeball the measurements here – you can always add more panko and cheese if needed to completely cover all the cutlets. Transfer to a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake chicken for 20-25 minutes, or until browned on both sides and cooked through, turning half way through.
While the chicken bakes, work on the ragu. In a large saute pan over medium heat, saute shallots in the leftover flavored oil you used to marinate the chicken in until soft. Increase heat to medium-high, add the mushrooms and saute until brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes, broth, sherry, vinegar and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Wilt in the spinach and season ragu with salt and pepper to taste. Finish with parsley and thyme.
To serve, plate the ragu and top with a little parmesan cheese. Add a piece of chicken, garnish with a squeeze of lemon juice and fresh parsley. Top with a little arugula dressed with lemon juice, olive oil and a salt and pepper to taste.