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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Chicken Milanese: Two Ways

The Bistro 33 restaurant here in Davis has an amazing dish called Chicken Milanese. I think it is sometimes called Chicken Picatta, and is basically a pan-fried, breaded chicken breast topped with a lemon-caper sauce, and topped with salad greens tossed lightly in a vinaigrette.

Normally I'm not much of a caper-lover (especially those marble-sized capers on pizzas in Europe). But in this dish the lemon and caper combination is super yummy.

Edward first ordered this dish and then we shared it again a few weeks ago. He wanted to know if we could cook it ourselves. Well, if you know me at all you know that: 1) I love to cook and 2) I love to figure out how things work. Recreating restaurant dishes is one of my very favorite pass times. Edward, on the other hand, hates cooking. So when he suggested we make it together I was excited.

I browsed lots of recipes and found a few that I combined/adjusted until I got what I think would result in the Bistro 33 version.

Chicken Milanese: Super Lemony

For the chicken:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup olive or canola oil
For the sauce:
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 6 tablespoons capers, drained
  • salad greens and vinaigrette
  1. Butterfly each chicken breast by cutting it almost all the way through. Open it up like a butterfly, cover with plastic wrap, and pound it down to 1/4" thick.
  2. Set the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in three separate shallow bowls. Season the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess, then dip in the eggs and coat thoroughly with the panko, pressing lightly to adhere.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the chicken and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined baking sheet (you can keep it hot in 300F oven while you prepare the sauce).
  4. Pour white wine into the skillet, and allow to boil as you dissolve the cooked bits from the bottom of the pan. (Ours didn't have "brown bits" but rather charred bits floating in oil so we just dumped the oil, wiped the pan with paper towels, and added 1/2 stick of butter before adding the wine.)
  5. Add the lemon juice, and allow to come to a boil, cook for a few minutes until reduced by half.
  6. Stir in capers.
  7. To serve, pour lemon-caper sauce over the chicken, and top with salad greens.
This version (with equal parts wine and lemon juice) was a little too tart for me. The next night we decided to make the sauce again but with more wine than lemon juice and to thicken it with some sour cream. The Bistro 33 sauce seemed a little creamy to me.

Chicken Milanese: Creamy Sauce

Use the same method/recipe for the chicken, as above.

But for the sauce use:
  • 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2-1 cup sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons capers, drained
Follow the recipe above but add the sour cream when you stir in the capers.

This was my favorite version because I liked the creaminess and the slightly less lemony flavor. The capers were not at all overwhelming in either version (Dave generally hates capers--and lemon dishes, in fact--and he really liked the second version).

We'll definitely be making this again! I think the fried chicken method is great, too, and will definitely be using it to make Italian casseroles with red sauce. The pounded, butterflied pieces cook SO fast. I bet you could fry up a bunch of these and then freeze them for easy reheating later.

Hmmmm...maybe my post-baby food stockpile needs a few of these...

1 comment:

Mimi mouse said...

I am totally going to try it!