Chicken milanese with tomato and fennel sauce

  • For the chicken
  • 50g plain flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 135g plain bread crumbs
  • 60g grated Parmesan
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, tenderloins removed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • For the sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 340g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme or 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 80g mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
For the chicken:

1) Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Line a baking sheet with a wire rack.

2) Using three wide, shallow bowls, add the flour to one, the eggs to another and to the third bowl combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, basil, and thyme.

3) On a work surface, put the chicken between two pieces of cling film. Using a meat mallet, lightly pound the chicken until approximately 0.5cm to 1cm thick. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

4) Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly, then dip into the beaten eggs, allowing the excess egg to drip off. Coat the chicken with the bread crumb mixture, pressing gently to adhere.

5) In a large, nonstick saute pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add 2 pieces of the breaded chicken into the oil and cook until light golden brown, about three to four minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to the prepared baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Reserve the cooking juices in the saute pan.

For the sauce:

6) Using the same saute pan, add the olive oil to the reserved cooking juices and heat over medium heat. Add the fennel and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about five to six minutes.

7) Stir in the cherry tomatoes, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper, garlic and thyme. Cook for five to six minutes until the tomatoes are tender. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the mascarpone cheese and stir until the mixture is creamy. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

8) Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and spoon the sauce over the top before serving.

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