Right before digging in

Whenever my sister visits my mother from Rome, she invariably has one culinary request. “Will you make me cotolette for dinner?”. Can’t say I blame her. My mom’s veal cutlets are just the best in the world as she has a way with frying that consistently yields crispy and delicate results.

I recently got a craving for cotoletta myself, something I would never order at any Italian restaurant because it never tastes of home and because veal is hard to come by on most menus. Otherwise known as Milanese, cotoletta is a thin veal or chicken cutlet, lightly breaded and pan-fried. My mom’s version has a secret, in the shape of Parmesan cheese.

On Halloween, I decided to keep the spirits and ghosts at bay with my frying. It might be they got spooked by my mad pounding of chicken breasts with my cast iron pan – Ottie was indeed mighty startled – until I got them really thin. I will confess that, as much as I love the taste of veal, the horrific price per pound and the mental vision of baby cattle usually make me default towards poultry. Not as tasty but still pretty good.


4 veal or chicken cutlets, pounded very thin

3 Eggs

1/4 C Parmesan Cheese, grated

1/2 C Bread Crumbs

Salt and Pepper to taste

3 T Canola oil

1 T Butter

1 T Lemon juice


Pounding yielded thin chicken and a workout

  1. Break the eggs in a shallow bowl and add the Parmesan. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Spread the breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl and add salt and pepper to taste.

    Eggs and breadcrumbs lined up

  3. Heat the oil and butter in a non-stick wide frying pan. Make sure the mixture is very hot before starting to pan-fry.
  4. Squeeze some lemon juice on the chicken or veal cutlets (if you are using chicken, I would recommend seasoning it with some salt and pepper). One at a time, dip them in the eggs, then drop them in the breadcrumbs. Make sure they are thoroughly covered without over coating.
  5. Place them in the sizzling oil/butter and cook for 2 or 3 minutes per side. They should look deep golden.

    Getting golden

  6. Once cooked, place them on paper towel to absorb some of the grease before serving.
  7. If you need to fry in batches, keep them warm in a 250F oven.


Filed under cooking, food

2 responses to “CHICKEN MILANESE

  1. ci

    for once maybe I can give you a suggestion based on my mom’s recipe.
    sorry for switching into Italian but I have few minutes
    invece di friggerle in padella, prendere una teglia di vetro, aggiungere olio q. b. e met erlea rosolare nel forno. quando sono dorate, aggiungere latte e conserva di pomodoro (preferibilmente fatta in casa) e parmigiano grattugiato per gratinare (volendo anche un po’ di sale).
    Quando è pronto aggiungere i piselli e rimettere in forno per pochi minuti.
    Provala per me è buonissima con o senza piselli perchè quello che conta è come sono state impanate.

  2. Annamaria

    My mum used to recicle the remaining eggs adding some breadcrumbs. mix them very well and then make “polpette” to be fried together with the “cotolette” … i can still feel the taste… they were the first to be eaten…
    love, annamaria

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