As is the theme of this blog (so it seems) I invite people over for dinner quite often. I love being the hostess with the mostess, I truly do. However, I can’t just do “simple”. If I try and do “simple” it’s just to make it look like it didn’t take any time to whip up! Which kind of defeats the purpose. Kind of like a woman takes hours to get ready to make it look like she just rolled out of bed. I want things to be perfect. I want guests to feel comfortable and relaxed, I want the wine to flow, the dinner to be delicious, the lighting to be perfect – all the little elements that make up great ambiance. I’ve tried to tone it down but, who am I kidding?
In all my years being the hostess, I’ve got my routine down so many times it is effortless. However, with this cooking project, every dish is a new one so that lends to the element of surprise. This particular night I had advance warning – nothing impromptu for a change – and so decided on the crowd pleaser – Chicken Milanese. This dish is interpreted differently from South America (origin) to Italy to Panama. Wherever you go, it’s delicious.
The white wine sauce is my absolute favorite. It pairs so well with the crispness of the chicken and it doesn’t take long to make. I recommend starting this first and letting it simmer while moving forward with the chicken. It will save you time when dinner is ready to be plated.
What You Need
4 chicken breasts (or filets)
2 cups dry White Wine (1 for yourself and 1 for the chicken)
6 tbsp cold, unsalted butter
2 medium shallots -minced
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp chopped fresh sage (the key)
2 tsp lemon juice
Pinch of Cayenne
Salt and White Pepper
1 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
Finely grated zest of lemon
1 tsp dried thyme
2 lg eggs
Vegetable Oil for Frying
1/4 cup chopped parsley
In a medium sauce pan, melt a tablespoon of the butter over moderate heat. Add the shallots and cook until softened. Add the cream, the wine and stock and bring to a boil. One boiling, reduce to a simmer (moderate heat) until the sauce reduces to 1 1/2 cups – about 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the rest of the butter, preferably one tablespoon at a time. Add the sage, lemon juice and cayenne pepper, season with salt and white pepper.
First, preheat the oven to 325. Then, prep the chicken in a shallow bowl. Here you will add the panko, bread crumbs, grated cheese, lemon zest and thyme. In another bowl, add the eggs and whisk. Season the eggs and chicken with salt and pepper. Dip each piece of chicken in the egg mixture and then cover with the parmesan and bread crumb mixture. Shake off any excess. Place the chicken on parchment paper on a baking tray.
In a small skillet, heat 1/2 inch of oil (not a ton but not too little, basically) and add the chicken cutlets once the oil has heated a bit. Lower the heat if the oil starts popping. Cook until the panic breadcrumbs are brown and crispy – about 4 to 5 minutes. Keep an eye on them and don’t let them get too dark on either side.
Transfer to a paper towel and drain while you cook the other cutlets. Place the cutlets back on the tray with parchment paper to keep warm until you’re ready to eat. I put mine in the oven for about ten minutes while I warmed up the sauce. You’re going to want to do so over moderate hit while stirring constantly.
When you’re ready to plate, sprinkle the cutlets with fresh parsley. My guests gave this dish rave reviews and yours will too. It’s that good.
Ciao for now!