Housewife 101: Chicken Milanese
If you have been following this blog for a while or know me in real life, you know that until recently, I was no whiz on the domestic front. Burning water? Been there. Screwing up scrambled eggs? Not a skill that comes easily, but I have mastered it. Never met a brownie that didn’t come from a box? Me neither.
But in the past year or so, I suddenly developed this urge to become housewife of the year. I wanted to cook, I longed for a garden, I became oddly obsessed with cleaning supplies. Well the green thumb has yet to manifest itself and the cleaning supplies are in supply, though mainly used by someone else, but I have taken on the kitchen with gusto.
I now subscribe to cooking magazines, read food blogs and went through an entire bag of flour recently for the first time in my life. I am not great at it (I have still sacrificed a scrambled egg or two) but I truly enjoy it, and have found a few key recipes that have become my staples. Dishes I can pull together fairly easily, without breaking a sweat, and impress everyone from skater hubs to Little D to my haute cuisine dad.
This is one of them. Via Gwyneth Paltrow, of course. Her cookbook “My Father’s Daughter” presents chicken milanese four “very special ways,” but I focus on one: with slow-roasted cherry tomatoes and arugula.
What you will need:
4 skinless, free-range, organic boneless chicken breasts (GP’s words, not mine, though we do aim for organic poultry)
1 cup milk
2 cups plain bread crumbs mixed with salt and pepper (she recommends panko for a crispier crust; I have tried that and regular and both do the trick)
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided (I had to Google what “divided” meant in a recipe)
2 cups cherry tomatoes (grape ones work too, when in a pickle)
2 cups wild arugula (I don’t like the taste of wild, so we just use regular)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Freshly grated parmesan (not per GP’s recipe, but per mine)
What you need to do:
Heat oven to 400. Dump tomatoes into a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and coarse salt. Bake 40-45 minutes, stirring them every 15 minutes or so. This is the key to this recipe. It’s embarrassingly easy and adds all the flavor.
Pound chicken between sheets of parchment paper. If you’re like me, buy parchment paper. For the first time ever. Realize it’s just wax paper with a fancy name. She recommends you pound it until it’s paper thin, you can almost see through it.
This is where GP makes it easy. All you do is dip each chicken breast in the bowl of milk, let it drip off, then cover in the bread crumbs. That’s it. Any amateur can do this, I promise.
Cooking the chicken took me a few attempts to master it. Now I just swear by her guidelines. Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a skillet. Cook for 4 minutes on the first side, until evenly browned. Flip and cook for an additional 2 or 3 minutes.
Then I plate my chicken, top with a handful of the arugula and a generous serving of the roasted tomatoes. I drizzle with a little more olive oil and balsamic and then I grate a little fresh parmesan on top.
Serve with wine. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. And leave the dishes for your husband.