Thin chicken breasts are coated in homemade seasonings to make extra traditional Milanesa de Pollo. This chicken milanese recipe produces extra crunchy, juicy chicken in just 30 minutes.
If you’re looking for more easy chicken recipes, like this pollo a la milanesa recipe, here are some reader favorites: Shake n Bake Chicken, Empress Chicken, Air Fryer Cornish Hen, Instant Pot Chicken Adobo, and Olive Garden’s Chicken Gnocchi Soup.
What Is Chicken Milanese
Milanesa de pollo isn’t authentic Mexican food, but it is popular in Mexican households. Milanese style recipes feature thinly sliced meat that’s breaded and shallow fried in oil.
It’s often served next to an arugula salad, mashed potatoes or even stuffed inside a bolillo roll to create a Milanesa torta.
Most milanese chicken ingredients you probably already have on-hand, making this a quick, easy and affordable weekday chicken dinner recipe.
Milanesa de Pollo Recipe ingredients: chicken breast (pechuga de pollo), Panko or breadcrumbs, kosher salt, black pepper, flour, eggs, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cumin, oregano, vegetable oil or olive oil, and lemon (optional).
Panko vs Breadcrumbs
When utilizing as breading, we always opt for Panko vs breadcrumbs. Why Panko? It doesn’t absorb as much excess oil so you’re left with a crispier Milanesa de Pollo. Breadcrumbs work great however, so use them if you have them! Grab what works for you.
How to Make Chicken Milanesa
Making milanesa de pollo is actually a pretty easy process, despite the fact “frying” food can be intimidating. The recipe card below details the exact steps, however we wanted to provide a few step-by-step photos for those new to making milanesa recipes (receta de milanesa)
Step 1 – Place the chicken on a large cutting board and cut the chicken in half horizontally to create two thin pieces of chicken breasts. Cover the chicken with plastic wrap and gently pound with a meat hammer to thin. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
Step 2 – Dredge the chicken in flour, then the egg mixture, followed by the Panko.
Step 3 – Once each piece has been breaded, shallow fry in olive oil until it’s crispy and has an internal temperature of 165°F. Tip- while frying each piece, prep the next piece and keep it in the Panko dish until ready to fry! Serve the Milanesa de Pollo immediately for best results.
Although chicken breast is the traditional cut to use, Milanesas de pollo can be made using a variety of different cuts. Here are a few of our favorites:
To make milanese de pollo using chicken thighs vs chicken breast just pound the entire thigh into a thin patty vs cutting it in half like you would the breast. Cook as you would a chicken breast, but the final internal temperature should be between 165°F and 185°F.
Use the same process you would the chicken breast, however do not cut it in half prior. As chicken tenders are much smaller than whole breasts the cook time will be shorter, depending on how big the tender is. Anticipate a cook time of 2-3 minutes per side.
Air Fryer Chicken Milanese
To make Air Fryer Chicken Milanese, pre-heat your air fryer to 380°F. Bake for 10 minutes, before flipping the chicken and baking for an extra 5-6 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
Many milanese recipes are served some form of sauce, particularly if you’re serving with mashed potatoes. If you’re looking to mix it up here are a few milanese sauce variations:
Chicken Parmesan – Top the crispy breaded chicken with marinara sauce (or tomato sauce mixed with Italian seasoning) and mozzarella cheese. Turn the oven on high broil and broil until the cheese is melted.
Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce – Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a pan over low heat. Add 1 garlic clove (grated) and 1/4 tsp sea salt. Cook for one minute. Remove from heat and add in 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Season, to taste, with black pepper.
Milanesa de Pollo Recipe Tips
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when making this milanese chicken recipe. Following these tips will produce SUPER CRISPY breaded chicken (pollo en panisado).
- Purchase “thin chicken breasts” to avoid having to cut in half. Cuts down on the steps required to make milanesa de pollo.
- Pat dry the boneless skinless chicken breasts with paper towels. The drier the meat, the more the coating mix (either breadcrumbs or Panko) will stick.
- As detailed above, opt for Panko vs breadcrumbs when making milanesa de pollo.
- When finished frying, transfer the chicken to a cooling rack set atop a rimmed baking sheet. It will help prevent the crust from getting soggy before serving.
- Serve immediately! The longer crispy chicken rests, the more time the coating has to absorb air and soften.
- If making doubling or tripling the recipe, set your oven to 165°F and place the cooked breaded chicken in the oven while you finish frying the remaining chicken.
- If your kitchen isn’t stocked with a meat hammer, have no fear. Just grab a heavy rolling pin or heavy skillet to use as a meat hammer instead.
- If you’re into spicy chicken, add an extra 1/2-1 teaspoons of chili powder or cayenne pepper to the seasoning mix for an extra kick.
Chicken Milanese Side Dish Ideas
Our favorite way to enjoy milanesa de pollo is with Instant Pot Black Beans and Cilantro Lime Rice (recipe coming soon). Here are a few other options that would pair well.
Milanesa de Pollo
- 2 Large Thick, Boneless and Skinless, Chicken Breasts (Cut in Half Horizontally) (*Note 1)
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- ½ tsp Black Pepper
- ½ cup All-Purpose Flour
- 2 large Eggs, Beaten
- 1 tbsp Milk
- ¾ cup Panko or Breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- ½ tsp Chili Powder
- ½ tsp Ground Cumin
- ½ tsp Dried Mexican Oregano (*Note 2)
- 6 tsp Olive Oil, Divided
- Optional Garnish: Cilantro and Fresh Lemon
- Place the chicken on a large cutting board and cut in half horizontally to create two thin pieces of chicken. (You can skip this step if you're using thin cut chicken breasts).
- Cover the chicken with plastic wrap and gently pound with a meat mallet to thin to 1/6"- 1/4" thick. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Prepare 3 separate bowls for breading: Beat the eggs and milk together and add to a shallow bowl. Add the flour to a second shallow bowl. Add the Panko, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, ground cumin, and dried oregano to a third shallow bowl and mix to combine.
- Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet (or cast iron skillet) over medium heat. The oil should be between 360°F -375°F.
- Dredge one chicken breast in flour, then dip it into the egg mixture. Make sure to let the excess egg wash fall back into the bowl. Finally, dip the chicken into the Panko mixture. If your skillet is large enough to cook 2 pieces of chicken at once, bread 2 chicken breasts.
- Transfer the breaded chicken to the pre-heated oil and sauté for 3-4 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Remove and transfer to a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet.
- Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts, adding extra olive oil as needed.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve with lemon slices. Enjoy immediately for best results.