Chicken Cutlet Milanese
Cotelette di Pollo Milanese
To make the scaloppini, first remove the chicken tenderloin from each breast, and freeze for later use. Cut the chicken breasts across the grain (widthwise) into three slices. Hold your knife at a 20 - 30 degree angle to the cutting board so that you slice the breasts on the bias, and end up with oval shaped scallopini. You will get approximately three scaloppini from each breast. Pound the slices lightly between two pieces of waxed paper or plastic wrap to a thickness of ¼ inch.
Sprinkle each scaloppini with salt and pepper and dust lightly with flour, shaking off any excess.
To bread your scaloppini, place the beaten egg and the bread crumbs in separate deep dishes or pie tins. Dip each scaloppini in the egg, holding it over the dish to allow the excess egg to drip back into the dish. Then place each scaloppini in the bread crumbs, pressing the scallop firmly down into the crumbs. Gently turn the chicken over, and press the other side into the crumbs. Remove the chicken from the breadcrumbs, tapping lightly to remove any loose crumbs, and place on a sheet pan. Once breaded, your scaloppini are now called cutlets, or “cotolette” in Italian.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
Heat ¼ cup of the olive oil in a large (at least 12 inch) sauté pan on medium high, and fry the cutlets in the olive oil, gently turning until golden brown on both sides, approximately 2-3 minutes per side. You will have to do these in batches to avoid burning the chicken. Remove from oil and place on a sheet pan and cover with foil. Hold the cutlets in the warm oven until you have finished your sauce. Dispose of the cooking oil.
For the sauce: Add 6 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan, and sauté the garlic, chopped onions and ham. Cook them on medium high heat for 4 - 6 minutes, until the onions are translucent and the ham and garlic start to brown. Add the wine, and deglaze the pan by scraping it gently to loosen the browned pieces that have adhered to the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat, and gradually sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour over the ingredients, stirring well to incorporate the flour into the mixture.
Return to heat, and add the chicken stock and the heavy cream, stirring to incorporate the ingredients. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer. Allow mixture to cook for 12 – 15 minutes, reducing until it reaches a sauce consistency. The sauce is the proper consistency when it coats the back of a spoon.
Add the lemon zest and black pepper to taste, and simmer for 2 – 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and carefully add the lemon juice, stirring continuously to prevent the cream from curdling.
Place the cutlets on a large serving platter, top with the sauce, sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.
As an alternative, the sauce can be thickened via the roux method, where you mix equal parts of softened butter and flour to make a paste, and gradually whisk them into the sauce. One tablespoon of roux should be enough to thicken this sauce.