Friday Night Lights

I don’t know about you, but in our house, Friday nights are all about letting our hair down.  To a one, we are spent from a long week of work, school, commitments, and activity and we are ready to tuck in and relax.  Friday night’s dinner needs to comfort and support, but not overwhelm.  Everybody needs to eat it-this is not a night that I can handle cooking two dinners.   As it is, I am limping towards the finish line that is the weekend. 

 For a night like this, Chicken Milanese-crisp chicken cutlets topped with a big arugula salad- is just the dish.  Everyone from 5 to 85 loves this chicken.  Even kids who don’t warm up to the salad think the chicken is fabulous!  I use panko- Japanese bread crumbs- which provides a light and crispy exterior.  (You can find them at most good grocery stores.)  Because of the quick cooking time, the cutlet remains moist in the center.  This dish takes fifteen minutes to make and even less to disappear on the plate.  In short, it is perfect Friday night fare.

 Chicken Milanese– Serves 4-8 depending on your eaters

Adapted from Ina Garten

 For the chicken

8  thinly sliced chicken cutlets

½ c. flour

2 t. sea salt

1 t. freshly ground pepper   

1-2 eggs, beaten

1 ½ c. panko

½ c. good quality finely grated parmesan

unsalted butter

olive oil

Combine flour, salt and pepper on a dinner plate.  

Place the beaten eggs in a shallow, wide bowl

Combine the panko and parmesan and place on a second plate.

Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides in the egg and dredge both sides in the panko mixture, pressing lightly.

 Heat 1 T. butter and 1 T. olive oil in a large skillet and cook chicken 3 minutes a side on medium heat or until cooked through.  Place a mound of salad on chicken breast and serve.

 For the salad

arugula- or other salad greens- for  salad for 8, washed and dried

½ c. fennel sliced thinly using a mandolin

1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved

good quality freshly grated parmesan

¼ c. fresh lemon juice

½ c. good quality olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

sea salt


 Whisk the lemon juice, olive oil and garlic well until well combined.  Toss the greens, fennel, tomatoes and parmesan with the dressing.  Salt and pepper to taste.


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