I know what you’re thinking: “Breaded chicken cutlets? Do I REALLY need a tutorial on this?”

Yes, you do.

We ALL do.

When I got my long-awaited copy of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, I was so excited that I dropped what I was doing and immediately sat down to peruse all of the wonderful recipes.

And to be honest, I skipped right over the Milanese chicken.

I mean, I didn’t need to spend time looking at a dish that I could probably make in my sleep.

But the picture looked tantalizingly good.

So after I worked my way through the granola, the breakfast bars and the meatballs, I decided to take a closer look at the chicken (and NOT just the picture).

And I knew two things:

1. I had to make this recipe as soon as possible.

2. It was going to be amazing.

Yes, I said it – AMAZING.

Chicken cutlets.

And it was. Turns out, my theory of simple not always being easy (or obvious) applied not only to stuffed shells. There were so many small – yet critical – little “tweaks” that Deb makes to the tired old cutlet.

The gussied-up egg dip.

The flour/egg/bread crumb coating (which I typically skip, favoring just the egg and bread crumbs. Big mistake).

The salt and pepper on the still-hot cutlets as they come out of the frying pan (you have no idea…).

And the drizzle of reserved dressing on the cutlets prior to topping with the salad?

I. Die.

milanese chicken with arugula salad

I could seriously have this dish once a week – which is huge, as I formerly thought of breaded cutlets as my “I cannot think of a thing to make tonight” meal.

No – this dish is in a whole new category now.

Try it. Go ahead.

And let me know if you agree.`

Mustard Milanese with Arugula Salad
gently adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

For the chicken:
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper
1 c. flour
2 egg whites
1/4 c. smooth Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 t. dried oregano
1 t. grated lemon zest
3 c. panko breadcrumbs

vegetable oil

For the salad:
3 T. lemon juice
2 T. coarse Dijon mustard
1 T. smooth Dijon mustard
1/4 c. olive oil
5 oz. baby arugula

Prepare the chicken:
Using a large, sharp knife, “butterfly” the cutlets (slicing them all the way through so that you have 8 pieces). Pound each cutlet between two pieces of plastic wrap, to a 1/4″ thickness. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Line up three pie plates or other large shallow dishes. In the first, place the flour. In the second, whisk the egg whites, mustard, garlic, oregano and lemon zest. In the third plate, place the breadcrumbs. Working with one cutlet at a time, dredge lightly in the flour, followed by the egg white mixture, followed by the breadcrumbs. Place cutlets on a foil-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour (and up to one day).

Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees. Line a baking tray with some paper towels; set aside. Line another tray with foil; set aside.

In a large saute pan, heat 1/2″ oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken till golden brown on both sides (about 2-4 minutes per side). Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper on both sides and drain on paper towels. When drained, transfer to foil-lined tray and place in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining chicken, adding oil to pan if needed.

Prepare the salad:
In a small bowl whisk lemon juice and mustards. Whisking constantly, add oil in a stream. Pour three-quarters of this into a salad bowl. Add arugula.

Toss the salad. Place two pieces of chicken on each plate. Drizzle a little dressing over the chicken (dear god). Top with some salad. Season with more salt and pepper. Eat immediately.

(print this recipe)

This delicious recipe brought to you by Sheri Silver


  1. Sandra on June 7, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    I’m making these this weekend!

    And yes, it’s always those little tweeks in technique that make a recipe. The things that the chef “knows” but are rarely written down.

    Til, well, you wrote them down!

    • sherisilver on June 7, 2013 at 5:14 pm

      Wish I could take the credit for thinking it up (but yes, at least I wrote it down!) xo

  2. Caroline on June 11, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Sheri not only would I love this but I think my whole crew would as well!

    On my “To Do” list today is a trip to the grocery and I am going to add panko breadcrumbs to my list because I WILL be making these too!

    Quick question: do you think this would work with boneless, skinless thighs too? I sometimes buy the organic pack from Costco and just wondering if that may work as well.

    Hope you are well! Sending X’s and O’s to you my dear!

    • sherisilver on June 11, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      Hey you – JUST had this tonight – so good! If you like breaded thighs then yes, this will work great. You probably don’t have to butterfly them; just pound them thin. I have never tried thighs this way so let me know! Miss you! xo

  3. Caroline on June 12, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Miss you too!! Okay–I think I’m going to try it with the thighs first since that is our favorite cut.


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