Published March 1, 2007.
While chicken Milanese is defined by its thick, bready coating, this new classic skips the crumbs and puts cheese at the forefront. But the swap isn't as easy as it sounds.
With a short ingredient list of only chicken breasts and Parmesan cheese plus one or two adhesives such as eggs or flour, this recipe should be straightforward. But we found pale, wet, and gummy baked versions as well as bitter and burnt pan-fried versions.
We wanted moist and tender chicken coated with a thin, crispy-yet-chewy, wafer-like sheath of Parmesan cheese.
We found that we needed to use a pan-frying method to achieve a crisp crust, with a nonstick skillet to keep the crust from fusing to the bottom. To keep the cheese from burning, we used fairly thin (1/4-inch-thick) chicken cutlets that cook quickly. To create a substantial crust, we required both a base layer of equal parts flour and grated cheese and a top layer of just cheese. But the cheese in the base layer needed to be grated to a fine, powdery consistency to successfully combine with the flour, while the cheese for the bulkier outside layer needed to be a thicker, coarser shred. And just a tablespoon of flour added to the shredded cheese ensured a gap-free surface. The final challenge was timing—when the chicken was cooked to a deep, dark brown, it tasted burnt. But turning the heat down to medium once the cutlets were in the pan allowed the chicken and cheese to cook through without becoming bitter.list of recipes