Chicken, Dinner, Lunch

Favorite chicken with arugula salad

This is one of our favorite meals. It’s just the two of us, so we marinate the four pieces at the same time, have the first two that night with half of the salad and have the remaining two the following night. If we’re feeling exciting or if we’re left over with two small pieces on the second night, we cut up the cutlets after we fry them and add them to a heartier salad.

The chicken needs at least an hour to marinate but can be made ahead up to one day in advance.

Note: We get a package of thinly sliced chicken breasts, which has four breasts of varying sizes. If you have a really sharp knife, you can get two regular chicken breasts and butterfly them in half so you get four thinly sliced pieces that way.

Favorite chicken (low-sodium chicken milanese) with arugula salad

Adapted from Deb Perelman‘s Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Serves 4


  • For the chicken
    • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
    • all-purpose flour, for dredging
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 tablespoons (45 grams) smooth Dijon mustard
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
    • 1 1/2 cups (80 grams) coarse, lightweight breadcrumbs, such as panko
    • Freshly ground pepper
    • Peanut oil or another oil with a high smoke point, for frying
  • For the salad
    • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) whole-seed or coarse Dijon mustard
    • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) smooth Dijon mustard
    • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup (80 ml) olive oil
    • 5 ounces (140 grams) baby arugula leaves


  1. Pound the chicken

    Take one chicken cutlet, place it on a large piece of plastic wrap, sprinkle with a little bit of water, and fold the plastic wrap over to cover the cutlet. Pound the cutlets with a meat pounder or, if you don’t have one, with something heavy with a flat surface. Pound the cutlets to 1/4-inch thickness or until they appear to be even.

  2. Prepare chicken for breading

    In a big plate, spread out enough flour to cover the bottom. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the two eggs and then whisk in the garlic, smooth Dijon, oregano, and lemon zest. In another big plate, spread out enough breadcrumbs to cover the bottom.

  3. Bread the chicken

    For each cutlet, cover both sides with the flour, then cover both sides with the egg-mustard mixture, then cover both sides with the breadcrumbs. Season the chicken on both sides with pepper and place it on a couple of large plates or a tray. Cover the plates with plastic wrap and chill to set the coating for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

  4. Meanwhile, prepare the salad dressing

    In a small bowl, whisk together the mustards, lemon juice, and olive oil until combined. In a large bowl, add the arugula. Wait to toss the dressing into the salad until just before serving.

  5. Fry the chicken

    Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Pour enough peanut oil (or frying oil of your choice) to generously coat the bottom of the pan. Test the pan by flicking in a couple of breadcrumbs. If they hiss when they hit the oil, you’re ready to cook. Cook the chicken on both sides until it is fully cooked and golden brown, about 3-4 minutes on the first side and 2-3 minutes on the second. Remove the chicken from the heat, place directly onto a paper towel to drain. Cover with another paper towel and flip the chicken after a couple of seconds to drain both sides. The chicken is drained when it is no longer glistening.

  6. Prepare the plates

    As the chicken is draining, toss as much of the dressing as desired into the arugula and divide the salad onto the serving plates. Place each piece of chicken on a serving plate, either on top of the salad or on its side.

Process photos

Breading the chicken
Breading the chicken

Seasoning with freshly ground pepper, ready to marinate
Seasoning with freshly ground pepper, ready to marinate

Arugula salad with dressing
Arugula salad with dressing

Frying the chicken
Frying the chicken


  • Sources of sodium
    • Chicken
    • Dijon mustard
    • Breadcrumbs
  • Ways to further reduce sodium intake
    • Make your own breadcrumbs from low-sodium bread
    • Get mustard with the lowest sodium intake you can find

Handy tools

  • Tongs with heat-resistant heads

    We have the OXO 12-inch tongs with silicone heads. They’re stainless steel tongs coated with silicone, which means that you can use them in any pan without having to worry about scratching it. We use it to bread the chicken and then to toss the salad and then for frying the chicken, making sure to rinse it very, very well before using it to fry.

Did you make this?

  • If you recreate this recipe, I’d love to know! Leave a comment here and tag @alickofsalt on social media.

4 thoughts on “Favorite chicken with arugula salad

  1. Nick says:

    I like your pictures. They look professional. However, in this particular case I’d like to see more of the chicken in focus. Maybe it’s just me… (I’m refering to the main picture)



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