Easy Chicken Milanese with a Lemony Arugula Salad

easy chicken milanese with arugula salad

Easy chicken milanese

If you are looking for a quick weeknight chicken dinner, this recipe for easy chicken Milanese with a lemony arugula salad, is something you need to try.  Crispy and juicy, these super flavorful chicken cutlets topped with a refreshing simple salad make for a very satisfying meal!

What is chicken Milanese

Chicken Milanese is a Northern Italian play on the classic Austrian Wiener Schnitzel that is made with veal.  In culinary terms “Milanese” means breaded and sautéed and then topped with a bright lemony salad. Thin chicken scaloppine,(or cutlets), Parmesan cheese in the breading, and lots of lemon notes make this dish so delicious as well as very easy to make.

In classic Italian style, this main course is typically not served next to a starch (the starch would come as a first course), but with a simple salad on top!

The five steps for making easy chicken Milanese
  1. Prepare the chicken cutlets and the simple breading station breading station for chicken scaloppine
  2. Coat the chicken with the breading, place on a rack and refrigerate to set the breadingbreaded chicken
  3. Prepare the salad and the simple vinaigrette and set asidearugula and red onion salad
  4. Sauté the chicken and keep it warmcooked chicken scaloppine
  5. Assemble the dish easy chicken milanese
To Make ahead:  

You can prepare the chicken Milanese and keep the cutlets in the refrigerator for up to eight hours before sautéing them.  Although the cutlets are best when they are freshly cooked, if you cook more than you can eat, they will keep in the refrigerator for three days. To warm them up, place in a 350° F oven until hot and crisp.

Optional side dishes:

 Even though this dish is traditionally served on its own as a main course in Italy, it often comes after a small bowl of risotto or pasta as a first course. Short of replicating the same sequence of a “primo” and a “secondo” course, we have other, not traditional options. These delicious skillet roasted potatoes come to mind, and also, this easy oven-baked polenta that I posted recently!  Both would pair very well with this easy chicken Milanese (as would a crisp white wine)!

Easy Chicken Milanese with a Lemony Arugula Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A super flavorful dish of chicken cutlets topped with a refreshing simple salad - a very satisfying meal!
Recipe type: Main dish
Cuisine: Northern Italian
Serves: 4
  • For the chicken:
  • 4 4-5 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (or, two, 8 oz. pieces)
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs (or, dried, unseasoned breadcrumbs)
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • --- fine sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder (optional)
  • 4 TBSP. olive oil
  • 2 TBSP. butter (or, more olive oil)
  • 1 TBSP. fresh parsley, finely minced
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges, for serving
  • For the salad:
  • 1½ TBSP. lemon juice
  • 3 TBSP. olive oil
  • --- --- sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 3 cups baby arugula
  • ½ sm. red onion, sliced into paper thin ribbons (or, 1 small shallot)
  1. Preheat the oven to 200° F (this is to keep the first batch of cutlets warm while you cook the rest).
  2. Prepare the chicken: Pat dry the chicken breasts and place them on a cutting board. Butterfly each chicken breast in half lengthwise by cutting to, but not through, the opposite side using a sharp knife and holding it parallel to the cutting board. This will leave you with four, butterflied portions. Open up the piece of chicken like a book (each half should be about ¼-inch thick. If thicker than that, place the chicken between two pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap and pound it to about ¼-inch thickness, using the flat side of a meat tenderizer. See note *, below.). If the chicken breasts are larger (about 8 oz. each), use only 2 of them and butterfly each into two separate cutlets, leaving you with four, individual portions of about 4 oz. each.
  3. Prepare your workstation: Put the flour in one shallow and wide bowl (or, a soup plate). Beat the eggs and place them in a second shallow bowl. Combine the breadcrumbs, panko and Parmesan cheese and place that in a third shallow bowl. Season both sides of your chicken with the salt, pepper and garlic powder. One by one, dredge the seasoned chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess, then dip it in the egg wash, then dredge it in the breadcrumb mixture; pat it lightly. Transfer the chicken pieces to a wire rack and chill them uncovered for at least 30 minutes, or, refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
  4. For the salad: Pour the olive oil and the lemon juice in a small jar and season with salt and pepper. Shake well to combine and set aside. In a bowl toss together the arugula and thinly sliced onion or shallot ribbons.
  5. Set a large, non-stick, 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add half of the olive oil and half of the butter and swirl it around. When it is hot, slip in two cutlets (or, as many as can fit comfortably without overlapping), making sure to let them fall away from you so you do not get burned. Cook for 3 minutes, or, until golden brown on the first side. Flip and cook 2-3 minutes more or until cooked through (cooking time will depend on the thickness of the chicken). Using tongs, transfer the chicken to an ovenproof plate, sprinkle lightly with a little salt and pop them into the oven to keep warm. At this point, if the butter in the skillet looks burnt, wipe the pan clean. Add the remaining olive oil and the remaining butter and cook the two other cutlets.
  6. Arrange the chicken on a warmed serving platter, or, place on individual plates and sprinkle with the parsley. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and mix to combine. Top each chicken with some of the salad. Serve immediately, with a lemon wedge on the side.
The reason why we need, thin, butterflied chicken (scaloppine) for this recipe, is to broaden the surface of the chicken that will become crispy and golden brown during its brief cooking time. In order to do that, also known as a “paillard”, we simply pound the chicken with a meat pounder, the bottom of a heavy skillet, or, even a rolling pin to get the desired thickness.

chicken milanese with arugula salad


If you are not already following my blog, please subscribe to Marilena’s Kitchen to have each new post delivered right to your inbox!

📬 To ensure my emails are sent to the right place and reach your inbox every time, make sure to add these emails to your Primary inbox by clicking & dragging my email to the Primary tab (for Gmail users)

Your support for my blog is greatly appreciated, please consider reviewing and rating my recipes! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

If you have a question or a comment about my recipes, or if you simply want to say hello, leave me a comment below – I love hearing from you!


The post Easy Chicken Milanese with a Lemony Arugula Salad appeared first on Marilena's Kitchen.