Wannabe Martha

Still trying to figure out which Martha

Weeknight Supper – Chicken Milanese with Arugula, Apple and Walnut Salad

on October 10, 2014

I have to share this – it’s so damn delicious and I’m going to apologize in advance for the fairly imprecise measurements and preparation technique. I found myself in the kitchen one night with a package of thinly sliced chicken breasts and really not sure what to do with them (they’re not my favorite thing to cook for the most part).  I’d been to Trader Joe’s that day and bought some Honeycrisp apples and Wild Rocket and suddenly it came to me – I could make crispy chicken with a kickass salad.

I cored, halved, and thinly sliced the apples and then tossed them with lemon juice which not only prevented nasty browning, but added a nice tart contrast to the sweetness of the apple. If you can’t find Honeycrisps or don’t like them (is that even possible), I’d go with another sweeter apple – maybe even a pear.  Anything tart will just not be pleasant.  I think that apple and walnut is one of the more sublime combinations, so I added toasted nuts to the mix.  If you don’t like walnuts, then substitute your own favorite.  The bitter-ish greens really hold up to the acid of the dressing (lemon & olive oil), as well as providing a lovely contrast to the sweet-tart apple and the crispy chicken. Finally I sprinkled some kosher salt over the top. Don’t skip that part.

All in all, this ended up being a perfect dinner salad, satisfying and just screaming “autumn” to me. It didn’t actually take a long time to make and if you’re a family with children, it’s a great opportunity to engage their help.  My mother made chicken Milanese all the time (of course she baked hers with tomato sauce and mozzarella and called it Chicken Parmesan) and my brothers and I loved to help her bread the chicken – messy, but fun.

Let’s get started.

  • 1.5 lb chicken cutlets (thinly sliced chicken breasts) – say 6, maybe
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2-3 eggs, well beaten (start with 2 and add an extra if needed)
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (add a little more if needed)
  • Olive Oil for frying the chicken
  • Wild rocket (or arugula or watercress or other spicy green
  • 1 large Honeycrisp apple
  • ½ cup walnut meats, toasted
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt

Prep the salad:

Core and halve and very thinly slice the apple (thin, but not quite shaved). Place the apples in a small bowl and toss with 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, making sure that they’re completely coated.  This will keep the apples from turning an unpleasant brown and also is part of the joy of this salad.  Cover and refrigerate

Toast the walnuts (gently, because these babies will burn in an instant) and coarsely chop. Set aside.

Dump the greens in a large bowl and keep refrigerated (you can do this at the last minute if you want)

Prepare the chicken:

Heat the oven to 300˚F and place a large cooling rack over a baking sheet and set in the oven (I put the chicken in here to finish cooking through and also keep warm while I cook the rest of the chicken)

Set out three bowls or pie pans (or paper plates for the flour and bread crumbs if you want);

Combine the flour, salt, garlic powder and pepper

Lightly coat a cutlet with the seasoned flour. Dip in the eggs then in the breadcrumbs

Repeat with remaining chicken

Heat a large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat – you want the oil fairly hot when the chicken hit it. Cook the chicken in the hot oil until brown and crispy on each side (3-4 minutes per side)

Watch the oil – you may need to raise the temperature when initially adding the chicken, but then drop it down once the oil temp rises.

Put the chicken in the oven on prepared rack in the oven while you finish with the rest of the cutlets.

Once all the chicken is cooked finish assembling the dish.

Toss the greens with @3Tbsp lemon juice and 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Taste it at this point.  I like mine fairly acidic, so adjust as needed, adding more juice/olive oil to suit your taste buds.  Put a large handful of greens on each plate; sprinkle with the walnuts.  Place a chicken cutlet on the greens and top with a handful of the lemon-coated apple sliced.  Sprinkle with kosher salt.

That’s it. Sweet-tart apples, crunchy walnuts, warm crispy chicken, belligerent greens – some stay cold and crunchy, some get a little wilted and that tiny burst of salt.  Perfect.

I found that I chicken cutlet per salad worked fine for us. But you can certainly add more for those with larger appetites.

I’d think this would serve 3 – 4 nicely – you might need a little more greens.

I really hope you try this out – it was so yum that it’s absolutely going to feature prominently for as long as I can get my hands on those apples. I might also add a little goat cheese.  Hmmmmm – something to think about.

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Let’s ignore that the table is not properly set, shall we, and just focus on the food.

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9 responses to “Weeknight Supper – Chicken Milanese with Arugula, Apple and Walnut Salad

  1. Elspeth says:

    I might have to try this. Love the idea of adding goay cheese.

  2. Elspeth says:

    We’re having it tonight, and I bought the goat cheese. The kids implored me to buy an arugula mix rather than straight arugula. Too bitter.

    I’ll tell you how it goes over.

    • Maeve says:

      I hope you like it!!! And an arugula mix is great (my daughters actually hate arugula) but baby spinach might be nice too. I might make it again tonight LOL

    • Maeve says:

      You know, I have some pork cutlets – that would be nice too (and I’ll add just a little mustard to the dressing). OK – I think I know what’s for dinner. 🙂

  3. FuzzieWuzzie says:

    Maeve,
    These food posts are such torture for single boys, bears or otherwise.
    How do you think that Subway video came to be? Single boy bear sandwich shopping. 🙂

  4. taylor says:

    I will be making this. THANKS 🙂

    • Maeve says:

      Taylor, I’m trying to think of a way of making this gluten free – maybe use chickpea flour instead of the AP wheat flour and then something else for the coating – maybe sesame seeds? with cornmeal? Does cornmeal have gluten?

  5. Elspeth says:

    The salad was a hit. even my girl who doesn’t generally like fruit in her salad liked it. 8-year-old, who is pretty picky, liked it. Only the 6-year-old found it “meh”, but she’s 6.

    Definitely a dish to put in the keeper file. Thanks again for the inspiration.

    • Maeve says:

      I’m so glad you all liked it! I’ve only recently developed a liking for (some) fruit in my salad, but for whatever reason, this combo just hit all the right notes for me.

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