These may sound like the names of three hot Italian men, yet they are rather the names of three hot Italian chicken dishes–my three favorites, actually. As Spring nears, we are eating lighter and incorporating more chicken in to our weekly routine. Spice up your old chicken breast and give these easy-to-prepare a try. And trust me, coming from the kitchen of #ChefAdrian, “conosco I miei polli!”.
Chicken Francese (Pollo alla Francese)
- 4 large skinless boneless chicken breast halves
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup dry white wine, like Chardonnay
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 bunches of spinach, trimmed and washed
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 TS red chili flakes
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 1/2 cup of capers, drained
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Place chicken breasts between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and gently pound chicken until 1/4 inch thick. Add ¾ cup of oil to a deep frying pan and heat on the stove top over medium-high heat.
While oil is heating, stir together flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a shallow bowl. Dredge chicken, 1 piece at a time, in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Lightly beat eggs in another shallow bowl. When oil is hot, but not smoking, dip floured chicken into beaten eggs to coat, letting excess drip off, then fry, turning over once, until golden brown and just cooked through, about 4 minutes total. Drain some of the oil and place the whole pan in a 350 degree pre-heated oven to for about 10 minutes to finish cooking. Transfer chicken to a plate lined with paper towels and keep warm, loosely covered with foil. Pour off and discard oil, wipe skillet clean and add the remaining ¼ of oil over medium heat. Add garlic and chili flakes and cook for 2 minutes but do not burn the garlic. Add spinach, salt, pepper and cook down until wilted. Add wine, broth, capers and lemon juice and increase heat, simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Taste the sauce, you may need to re season with salt and pepper. To plate, you simply put chicken breast first, spoon ¼ of the spinach with sauce over the chicken and then top off with a thin slice of lemon.
Chicken Milanese (Pollo alla Milanese)
- 2 whole boneless chicken breasts (will yield 4 ‘cutlets’)
- 2 cups all purpose flour, for dredging
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 2 cups, Panko bread crumbs for coating, more may be needed
- 1 cup olive oil,
- 1 container, baby arugula
- ½ cup Pecorino Romano, shaved
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¼ Red onion, thinly shaved
- 1 Lemon, cut into wedges
- Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Place a chicken breast flat on your cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice it in half from the thick end to the thin end. Repeat with the second breast. Now you have 4 pieces of chicken.
Place one piece of chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap and using your kitchen mallet pound it to your desired thickness. Don’t pound them too thin, flatten the breast pieces to about ¼ inch in the center. Repeat with the other three cutlets.
Pour flour in a shallow bowl for dredging. Beat eggs in another bowl. Pour bread crumbs in a third bowl. Add half a cup of olive oil to a deep frying pan and heat on the stove top over medium-high heat. You want to get the oil hot but if it starts smoking, remove from the heat before adding the chicken so it can cool down a little. Salt and pepper the cutlets and dredge in flour first, then in egg then in the breadcrumbs and slowly lower them into the oil. Make sure you coat the cutlets evenly in all three mixtures and shake off any excess before frying them.
Fry each side for about 1 to 2 minutes before flipping. Once the other side is browned, remove from pan and set aside to drain on a paper towel lined plate. You can season with a small pinch of salt while still hot. If your cutlets are thicker then ¼, you can drain some of the oil and place the whole pan in a 350 degree pre-heated oven to for about 10 minutes to finish cooking. You can also add more oil if needed. While chicken is resting, in a salad bowl toss arugula, red onion, tomatoes, Pecorino with a few spoons of olive oil and the juice from half a lemon. To plate, you simply put chicken cutlet first, then top off with the arugula salad and garnish with a lemon wedge.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
- About 2 cups olive oil
- 4 Russet (baking) potatoes
- 1 cup dry white wine, like Chardonnay
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup green peas
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Mix together flour, pepper, salt, and dried herbs. Dredge chicken thighs in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Heat ¾ cup of oil in a deep frying pan on the stove top over medium-high heat, then fry chicken until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Once both sides are browned, remove from pan and set aside to drain on a paper towel lined plate season with salt and pepper.
Cut potatoes lengthwise into eighths while chicken is cooking. Drain the oil from the pan, wipe clean, add another ½ cup of oil to the pan and bring up to a medium-high heat. Cook potatoes in 3 batches, turning, until golden brown, about 7 minutes. As the potatoes cook, transfer them to a paper towel lined plate and season with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour off all but 1/4 inch oil from skillet. Over medium heat sauté garlic and peas for about 2 minutes. You can also add a few pinches of oregano, thyme and rosemary. Add wine and cook for about 2 minutes. Return chicken and potatoes to skillet. Bake, uncovered, until potatoes are tender and chicken is tender and somewhat crisp, about 10 minutes.
Add parsley once it comes out of the oven. Serve chicken and potatoes with pan juices.
Have a question about these recipes? Let me know below!