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Super Crispy Milanesa de Pollo (Chicken Milanese)

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Milanesa de pollo empanizado is an absolute must-try for anyone who appreciates tender chicken cutlets with a crispy, breaded exterior.

Side view of a stack of Milanesa de pollo with parsley garnish

Milanesa de Pollo

If you’ve ever been to Colombia, Mexico, and countless other countries in Latin America, you’ll find that Milanesa de Pollo is a beloved and iconic dish.

Its origins can be traced back to the classic Italian cotoletta alla Milanese, which has been adapted and enriched with unique regional flavors.

Traditionally, a chicken cutlet is pounded to an even thinness, seasoned with a mix of local spices, and then breaded and fried to golden perfection.

In Latin America, this classic recipe has been adjusted, and what sets it apart is the seasoning and sides. You’ll find it served with a slice of lime, a side of arepa, aji picante, or air fryer twice-fried plantains.

Check out the latest web stories Milanesa de pollo


Distinguising Pollo Apanado vs. Milanesa de Pollo vs. Pollo Empanizado

If you’re a fan of breaded chicken dishes in Latin American and Spanish cuisines, you might have heard of terms like “Pollo Apanado,” “Milanesa de Pollo,” and “Pollo Empanizado.”

All of these refer to chicken coated in breadcrumbs and fried, but some regional differences and nuances make each one unique.

It’s worth noting that every breaded fried chicken recipe differs in thickness, preparation, and regional influences.

Pollo Apanado (Breaded Chicken)

Pollo Apanado, chicken that has been coated in breadcrumbs. The dish can be made using different cuts of chicken and typically places less emphasis on the thickness of the chicken.

Milanesa de Pollo (Chicken Milanese)

The dish Milanesa de Pollo is rooted in the Milanese style of Italy, yet it has gained immense popularity in countries like Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, and Uruguay.

This delicious dish is prepared by pounding a chicken cutlet to flatten it out, coating it with breadcrumbs, and frying it until it reaches a crispy golden brown. Often, it is served alongside a bed of fluffy rice or a fresh, colorful salad.

Pollo Empanizado

“Pollo Empanizado” refers to a delicious dish of breaded chicken originating from the Spanish culinary culture. The word “empanizado” means “coated,” and this coating gives the dish its unique texture and flavor.


Side view of a stack of Milanesa de pollo empanizado with lime
Pollo Apanado

Ingredients and Substitutions

This breaded chicken cutlet, known as Milanesa de pollo, is made with thinly sliced chicken breasts and coated in flour, whisked eggs, and breadcrumbs before being fried in avocado oil.

Ingredients

  1. Chicken Breasts – You can substitute this recipe with chicken tenders. Or with chicken thighs, remember that it will require longer frying until the chicken is fully cooked internally through to 165 degrees.
  2. Flour – Unbleached all-purpose flour. If you’re looking for gluten-free chicken cutlets, substitute the all-purpose flour and breadcrumbs with a gluten-free alternative.
  3. Eggs – Whisked.
  4. Water – Purified water.
  5. Plain Breadcrumbs
  6. Panko Breadcrumbs – Regular or Japanese panko breadcrumbs are slightly different, but both work well.
  7. Spices – Onion salt, sazon, salt
  8. Avocado Oil – Avocado oil has a high smoke point, making it ideal for frying. Or use your frying oil of preference.

Top Tips For The Crispiest Thinly Sliced Pollo Apanado

  • Pound the chicken for an incredibly crispy Milanesa de pollo, and it’s essential to pound the chicken after slicing for tenderized, even-textured, and delicious flavor.
  • Traditional and Japanese panko breadcrumbs – For a super crunchy and crispy pollo apanado, use a mixture of traditional breadcrumbs and large, flaky Japanese panko breadcrumbs. Panko crumbs are round and dense, staying crispy for a longer time.
  • Cooling Rack – After frying chicken, place it on a cooling rack to let the excess oil drip off instead of using a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. This prevents sogginess and preserves crispiness.

Pollo Apanado Sauces

Turn pollo empanizado into a deliciously crispy chicken sandwich.

Here are some sauces you can dip or top your freshly cooked pollo a la Milanesa.

Add your favorite aioli, like this spicy garlic aioli, ancho aioli or chimichurri aioli.

Aji Picante and this authentic chimichurri sauce.

Overhead shot pollo empanizado with parsley garnish

See Below for Detailed Instructions


Instructions For A Crispy Pollo Apanado

Step One: Prepare The Breading Station

  1. Large Baking Dish: Flour, salt, and spices.
  2. Medium Baking Dish: Eggs, water, salt and spices.
  3. Large Baking Dish: Plain breadcrumbs, panko breadcrumbs, spices, salt, and lime juice.
Overhead shot of Milanesa de pollo breading station
Breading Station

Step Two: Slice The Chicken

Pat the chicken dry, then cut the chicken breasts into thinly sliced chicken cutlets, and set aside, you can yield roughly four servings of chicken cutlets with two chicken breasts, depending on the size.

Step Three: Pound The Chicken Cutlets

Pounding the chicken tenderizes it, allows seasoning to penetrate evenly, and ensures even cooking.

Place a sliced chicken cutlet between two sheets of parchment paper on a cutting board. Use a mallet to pound the chicken until it is thin.

Tip: To prevent splattering when pounding chicken, cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap for easier cleanup.

Step Four: Breading Process

This three-step process is simple and critical for a super crispy chicken.

  1. Flour – This three-step process is simple. First, take the cutlet and generously dredge it in flour, ensuring every inch is well coated.
  2. Eggs – Next, dip it into a bath of whisked eggs, made with water, eggs, spices, and salt.
  3. Bread Crumb Mixture – To achieve a crispy, golden cutlet, it’s important to properly coat the chicken with the breadcrumb mixture. Be sure to press the breadcrumbs onto the chicken to ensure they stick well, with the final layer of breadcrumb mixture being the most crucial.

Place the breaded chicken on a plate until you’re ready to fry.

Step Five – Fry

Grab your seasoned cast iron skillet or frying pan of choice, and place it on the stovetop with avocado oil—enough oil to cover the chicken completely. Heat on medium heat, and once the oil is hot, place the chicken in the pan.

Tip: One way to test if the oil is hot enough for frying chicken is to drop a small piece of chicken in it. If the oil bubbles around the chicken, it is ready for frying.

Once the one side is golden brown, flip the chicken using tongs. Once the second side is golden brown, carefully remove the Milanesa de pollo from the oil and place it on a cooling rack.

For an extra burst of flavor, try sprinkling some sea salt flakes onto your freshly fried chicken.

Frying Alternative: Air Fryer Chicken Cutlets

If you prefer to air fry the chicken cutlets, spray and coat the breaded cutlets with avocado oil. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees—place the chicken cutlets in the air fryer in a single layer. Air fry until golden brown.

Step Six – Garnish optional

Clean and chop parsley leaves and tender stems. Use as garnish for the pollo empanizado. Serve with sliced lime.

Cheers!


Storage

Allow the pollo empanizado to cool, then store them in a ceramic or glass container lightly covered to prevent them from getting soggy. Store for up to five days. Fried chicken lasts in the chicken slightly longer after being cooked in high heat.

Reheating

Air fryer, toaster oven, or conventional oven

Preheat your air fryer, toaster oven, or conventional oven. Place the Milanesa de pollo in a single layer, and reheat the chicken cutlets for 5-7 minutes at 375 degrees.

Pan

Preheat a pan at medium heat, place the pollo apanado on the pan, and reheat for 2 minutes on each side, or reheat based on your preference.


What to Serve with Chicken Cutlets

Serve with snacks, appetizers, or dinner!

These are easy and perfect appetizers:

Chicken cutlets pair perfectly with salads and tangy vinaigrettes.


Overhead shot of Pollo Empanizado con lima on a baking rack
Pollo Empanizado on cooling rack

FAQs

What is chicken Milanese made of?

Chicken Milanese might be just what you’re looking for if you love crispy fried chicken. This dish involves thinly cutting and pounding chicken breast before coating it in flour, whipped eggs, and a breadcrumb mixture. The result is a deliciously thin and crispy piece of chicken.


Side view of a stack of Milanesa de pollo with parsley garnish

Crispy Milanesa de Pollo (Chicken Milanese)

Olga Muñoz
Crispy pollo empanizado (chicken cutlets) garnished with chopped parsley.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Argentina, Colombian, Cuban, Dominican, Ecuadorian, Mexican, Peruvian, Puerto Rican
Servings 4 people
Calories 489.5 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Boning Knife
  • 1 Medium Baking Dish
  • 2 Large Baking Dish
  • 1 Fork
  • 1 Wooden Cutting Board
  • 1 Parchment Paper
  • 1 Kitchen Mallet
  • 1 Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet 15 1/4"
  • 1 Cooling Rack

Ingredients
  

Chicken

  • 2 Chicken Breasts

Breading Station

  • 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 2 cups Panko breadcrumbs adjust if needed
  • 1 cup Plain breadcrumbs adjust if needed
  • 1/4 tsp Sazon
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Lime, Juiced

Garnish

  • 1 tbsp Fresh Parsley
  • 1/8 tsp Sea Salt Flakes

Oil

  • 16 oz Avocado Oil

Instructions
 

  • Step One: Prepare The Breading Station
    Large Baking Dish: Flour, salt, and spices.
    Medium Baking Dish: Eggs, water, salt and spices.
    Large Baking Dish: Plain breadcrumbs, panko breadcrumbs, spices, salt, and lime juice.
    Flour:
    Pour the flour into a medium-sized baking dish, add a pinch of salt, onion salt, and sazon.
    Eggs & Water:
    In a medium baking dish, beat the two eggs and add the water. Add a pinch of salt, sazon, and onion salt.
    Overhead shot of Egg mixture for pollo apanado
  • Step Two: Slice The Chicken
    Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, then cut the chicken breasts into thinly sliced chicken cutlets and set aside.
    Note: You can yield roughly four servings of chicken cutlets with two chicken breasts, depending on the size.
    side view of chicken cutlet for pollo a la milanesa
  • Step Three: Pound The Chicken Cutlets
    Pounding the chicken tenderizes it, allows seasoning to penetrate evenly, and ensures even cooking.
    Place a sliced chicken cutlet between two sheets of parchment paper on a cutting board. Use a mallet to pound the chicken until it is thin.
    Tip: Cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap to prevent splattering when pounding chicken for easier cleanup.
    overhead shot chicken-cutlet-on-parchment-paper.
  • Step Four: Breading Process
    This three-step process is simple and critical for a super crispy chicken.
    Place the breaded chicken on a plate until you’re ready to fry.
    Flour – This three-step process is simple. First, take the cutlet and generously dredge it in flour, ensuring every inch is well coated.
    Eggs – Next, dip it into a bath of whisked eggs made with water, eggs, spices, and salt.
    Breadcrumb Mixture – To achieve a crispy, golden cutlet, properly coat the chicken with the breadcrumb mixture.
    Be sure to press the breadcrumbs onto the chicken to ensure they stick well, with the final layer of breadcrumb mixture being the most crucial.
    Overhead shot of breaded milanesa de pollo
  • Step Five – Fry
    Grab your seasoned cast iron skillet or frying pan of choice, and place it on the stovetop with avocado oil—enough oil to cover the chicken completely. Increase the heat on the stovetop to medium heat, and once the oil is hot, place the chicken in the pan.
    Tip: One way to test if the oil is hot enough for frying chicken is to drop a small piece of chicken. If the oil bubbles around the chicken, it is ready for frying.
    After one side is golden brown, use tongs to flip the chicken. Once the other side is golden brown, transfer the milanesa de pollo to a cooling rack.
    Sprinkle sea salt flakes on the pollo apanado.
    Overhead shot of Milanesa de pollo in frying pan
  • Step Six – Garnish Optional
    Clean and chop parsley leaves and tender stems. Use as garnish right before serving.
    Serve with sliced lime.
    Overhead shot of Pollo Empanizado con lima on cooling rack

Notes

Top Tips For The Crispiest Thinly Sliced Pollo Apanado

  • Pound the chicken for an incredibly crispy Milanesa de pollo. It’s essential to pound the chicken after slicing for tenderized, even-textured, and delicious flavor.
  • Traditional and Japanese panko breadcrumbs – For a super crunchy and crispy pollo apanado, use a mixture of breadcrumbs and large, flaky Japanese panko breadcrumbs. Panko crumbs are round and dense, staying crispy for a longer time.
  • Cooling Rack – After frying chicken, place it on a cooling rack to let the excess oil drip off instead of using a paper towel with cutlets. This prevents sogginess and preserves crispiness.

Frying Alternative: Air Fryer Chicken Cutlets

If you prefer to air fry the chicken cutlets, spray and coat the breaded cutlets with avocado oil. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees—place the chicken cutlets in the air fryer in a single layer. Air fry until golden brown.

Nutrition

Calories: 489.5kcal
Keyword chicken milanese, milanesa de pollo, pollo apanado, pollo empanizado
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