Crunchy Breaded Chicken (Cotolette Di Pollo)

By Michaela, Emanuela and Romina Chiappa From the book Simply Italian: Cooking at Home with the Chiappa Sisters
Crunchy Breaded Chicken (Cotolette Di Pollo)

These breaded chicken pieces make for soothing comfort food and bring back lovely memories for all of us. When we arrived home after the long journey back from Italy,Nonna Luisa would have a bowl of pastina in chicken broth waiting for us, followed bysome cotolette. This is a traditional Milanese dish, although most regions of Italy have their own version – and of course everyone thinks theirs is the best! We like to serve this with Multi-Coloured Griddled Vegetables, drizzled with a little Classic Pesto.

For how many? Serves 4


  • 2 chicken breasts, skin removed
  • 2 medium eggs, preferably free-range or organic
  • fine salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 150g breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp dried herbs (parsley, rosemary or thyme)
  • 4 tsp salted butter, plus extra if needed
  • olive oil
  • lemon wedges, to serve


Slice each chicken breast horizontally across the middle to make 4 fillets. Cover with cling film and, using a meat mallet or a rolling pin, pound each fillet until it is about 0.5cm thick.

In a shallow dish, beat the eggs and season with salt and pepper. Place the breadcrumbs on a plate and mix in the herbs. Take each piece of chicken and dip it first in the egg, then coat in the herby breadcrumbs.

Melt the butter with the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. When frothy, cook the chicken for about 2 to 5 minutes on each side, until cooked through. You may need to cook the chicken in batches, depending on the size of your pan – use a teaspoon of butter and olive oil per chicken piece. (Use more butter or a little oil if the breadcrumbs have soaked it up before you turn the chicken, or if you want your cotolette to be extra crunchy.) Serve with the lemon wedges.


For a spicy kick, add a teaspoon of chilli flakes to the breadcrumbsor serve with sweet chilli sauce.

For a healthier option, drizzle the chicken in a little olive oil and bake in an oven heated to 180˚C/350˚F/gas 4 for 20 minutes, until cooked through.

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