Milanesa de Pollo, or Chicken Milanese, is a popular dish in many Mexican households and restaurants. Made from seasoned breaded chicken cutlets that are pan-fried to perfection, it’s ready in only 30 minutes and is a family dinner favorite that’s quick, easy, and delicious!
What could be better at the end of a long day than a plate full of delicious comfort foods? Juicy breaded chicken and warm seasonings make up this recipe for Milanesa de Pollo (aka Chicken Milanese). It’s an easy meal that’s ready to eat in just 30 minutes that the whole family will love!
While chicken Milanese isn’t technically Mexican, it’s a very popular family meal in Mexico and many Mexican restaurants.
I’ve added cumin, chili powder, and oregano to the panko breading to give this recipe some flare and excitement. Finished with chopped cilantro and a spritz of lemon on top, this easy chicken recipe can be served next to rice, fresh jicama slaw, and corn salsa with tortilla chips to create a tasty, fresh, and new family favorite for dinner.
What is Milanesa de Pollo?
Milanesa de Pollo, or chicken Milanese, is a popular dish that originated in Italy. It’s traditionally made with veal but as it became more westernized, chicken was used as a replacement.
To prepare the dish, chicken breasts are sliced in half and then pounded until they’re almost paper-thin. They’re then breaded and pan-fried to enjoy next to green salad or vegetables.
Even though this recipe isn’t Mexican, it’s still found in many Mexican restaurants served with Mexican rice on the side or used as a filling in a Mexican torta (a Mexican sandwich that’s typically made using bolillo bread).
Ingredients you’ll need
- Chicken breasts – The bigger, the better. The chicken breasts will be cut in half and then pounded with a meat hammer to make them really thin. They’re quickly seasoned with salt and pepper before being dredged and breaded.
- Flour – Dipping the chicken in all purpose flour is the first step in the dredging process and helps the eggs stick to the outside.
- Eggs – Step 2 in the dredge are the eggs! Dipping the flour-covered chicken cutlets in 2 beaten eggs will ensure the breadcrumb coating sticks.
- Herbed panko breadcrumbs – Finish the cutlets off with a dredge in crispy breadcrumbs. Mixing panko with simple seasonings like garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, and oregano amps up the flavor and makes the chicken extra crunchy.
- Cilantro and lemon – For a zesty garnish!
How to make Milanesa de Pollo
- Pound the chicken: Lay the chicken breasts on a cutting board covered in plastic wrap or parchment paper. Use a meat mallet to pound each breast until they’re about ⅙-¼ inch thickness. Finish by seasoning both sides with salt and pepper.
- Bread the chicken: Add the flour, eggs, and herbed panko mixture to 3 separate shallow bowls. Dredge 2 chicken cutlets in flour, then dip in egg, and then into the seasoned panko breadcrumbs.
- Cook the chicken: Sauté the breaded cutlets in a hot pan with some oil for 3 to 4 minutes per side. To serve, add chopped cilantro on top and a lemon wedge on the side.
Tips and substitutions
- Don’t have a meat hammer? You can use a heavy skillet instead. A small cast-iron skillet works great.
- If making a double batch for a larger meal, you can set the oven to warm (about 170°F) and keep the cooked chicken cutlets on a baking sheet in the oven while you finish making the rest of the batch.
- Make it extra cheesy! Mix some shredded or grated parmesan cheese into the breadcrumb mixture.
What to serve with Milanesa de Pollo
Classic Chicken Milanese is traditionally served with green salad, mashed potatoes, or spaghetti and tomato sauce on the side, but Mexican Milanesa de Pollo is a little different! Some great sides to serve with it are:
Storing and reheating
To store, keep the leftover breaded chicken in a shallow airtight container in the fridge. It should stay fresh for up to 4 days.
To reheat, you can bake the cutlets in a 350ºF oven until warmed through or sauté in a hot pan with a little oil to bring a little crunch back to the breading.
- 2 large boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- cilantro, for garnish
- 1 lemon, quartered
- Line a large cutting board with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Lay chicken breasts on top in a single layer, and then cover with another piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper.
- Using a meat mallet or a heavy skillet (like cast iron), pound each chicken breast to about 1/6-1/4 inch thickness.
- Season with salt and black pepper on both sides. Set aside.
- Prepare 3 shallow bowls – the first with the flour, the second with the eggs, and the third with the panko breadcrumbs.
- To the breadcrumbs, add the garlic powder, chili powder, ground cumin, and dried oregano. Mix together to combine.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Working in 2 batches, dredge two cutlets in flour, then dip in egg, and then into the seasoned panko breadcrumbs.
- Sauté the cutlets for 3-4 minutes per side. Remove and transfer to a plate.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and repeat the same steps with the remaining 2 cutlets.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve with lemon wedges.
- Don’t have a meat hammer? You can use a heavy skillet instead. A small cast-iron skillet works great for this.
- If making a double batch for a larger meal, you can set the oven to warm (about 170°F) and keep the cooked chicken cutlets warm on a baking sheet in the oven while you finish making the rest of the batch.
- Add some shredded or grated parmesan cheese to the breadcrumb mixture to add a little extra cheesy flavor!