I just got back from Colombia where I ate my weight in carbs. There was so much bread and delicious fried empanadas. I ate it all up. No guilt. That's usually my motto when I travel. I try and immerse myself in the experience. I hardly ever watch what I eat, though it luckily is always offset with lots of walking. I love walking and walking through a city or town is the best way to experience it.
When I got back into town, the first thing I wanted was to get back into my routine of healthy eating and balance. I whipped up this Greek Milanese, a riff on one of my favorite salads. Yes, it's pan-fried chicken so the healthy factor is a bit debatable but I usually eat far more salad than chicken with this dish. The Greek salad is my favorite type of salad: full of crispy cucumbers, an acid-driven dressing and a good amount of feta cheese. It's snappy, filling and refreshing all at the same time! No small fete.
- Milanese Chicken:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups Italian-style bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 1 pound)
- 1 lemon, grilled, for serving
- Greek Salad:
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- 1 bunch of romaine lettuce, trimmed and chopped
- 2 ounces cubed feta cheese
- 1/4 red onion, sliced
- 4 pepperoncini, sliced
- 1 vine-ripe tomato, cubed
- 1 Persian cucumber, sliced
- In a medium bowl, add the flour. In a large, deep-set plate, combine the bread crumbs and salt. In another medium bowl, add the eggs, a pinch of salt and beat.
- To prepare the chicken, place the first piece of halved chicken in between two sheets of plastic wrap. Using a mallet or rolling pin, pound the chicken until it reaches a 1/4-inch thickness. Repeat the pounding process with the second piece of chicken. Dip the chicken in the flour and then transfer to the beaten egg, allowing the excess to run off, and then immediately coat in the panko bread mixture. Transfer the chicken to a plate and repeat with the second half of chicken. Place the plate in the refrigerator to rest for about 1/2 hour.
- Meanwhile, let's make the salad. In a medium bowl, combine the lemon juice with the dried oregano, and a few pinches of salt. Pour in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil; whisk until combined. Add the lettuce, feta, red onion, pepperoncini, tomato and cucumber. Toss until everything is evenly coated with the dressing. Salt to taste (I added a few more pinches of salt). Set aside.
- To a 3 quart sautÃ© pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the first piece of chicken and cook on each side for about 3 to 4 minutes, until the bread crumbs are golden brown and the chicken feels firm to the touch. Transfer to a bed of paper towels to drain and repeat with the second piece of chicken, being sure to add more olive oil to the pan as needed.
- To assemble the salads, divide the chicken between two plates and top with a big heaping serving of salad.