Chicken Milanesa With Avocado & Tomato Salad
by Bret Jennings, Chef , Elaine’s on Franklin, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
- 2 boneless-skinless Smart Chicken breasts
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs (beaten, with 1 tablespoon water)
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons pure olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
Place each chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet, preferably with teeth, gently pound the top side of the chicken until breast starts to spread out. (Be careful not to split the meat.) Turn the chicken breast over and repeat until breast has about doubled in size.
Using 3 medium bowls, add flour to the first, eggs beaten with 1 tablespoon of water to the second, and combine the bread crumbs, parmesan, spices, and herbs in the third bowl.
Dredge each breast into the flour and coat evenly, shaking off the excess flour. Then dip into the beaten eggs. Press into seasoned bread crumbs, turning several times.
Heat olive oil and butter in skillet over medium-high heat. When butter is melted and begins to sizzle, add the breaded chicken breasts. Cook the chicken breasts until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F. Transfer the chicken onto a dish lined with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
Serve the Chicken Milanesa alongside the veggie salad, and drizzle the chicken with chili aioli.
- Veggie Salad
- 1 avocado, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 large tomato, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 ear of corn, roasted and cut off the cob
- Green beans and/or wax beans blanched and chilled and cut into 1-inch lengths
- 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 or 3 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 cup arugula leaves
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
- Fresh squeezed lime juice
- Olive oil
Combine all the veggies in a medium bowl and drizzle with a bit of lime juice (or cider vinegar) and olive oil. Season with a pinch of salt.
- Chili Aioli
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- Pinch salt
- Pinch ground cumin
- 1 jalapeno pepper, roasted, peeled, and seeded
- 1 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, and seeded
- 1 cup pure olive oil
Combine the first seven ingredients in a food processor or blender. (Ingredients could also be finely chopped by hand and whisked together.) Once the ingredients are incorporated, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the aioli emulsifies. Season with more salt and lime juice, if necessary.
Pairing: For a white, a pinot grigio would go nicely with this dish; the fruit and nice acidity will pair well with the butter and avocado. If the wine is a red, consider a light and fruity Barbera, which would provide good acidity without overpowering the chicken