This seems to be a recurring theme on this blog. Milanesas are yet another food you don’t have to go to the trouble of preparing, but you might want to, because it’s so much yummier. You can buy prepared Milanesas at any Mexican butcher shop, but where’s the fun in that?
Note: Bistec de Res is a delicate, thinly sliced beef steak found in the same butcher’s case as the prepared Milanesas. Bistec de Pollo or chicken cutlets are likely in there too. If you don’t have access to a good Mexican meat market or butcher (most butchers are happy to slice your meat for you), with a steady hand, a really sharp knife and some patience, you can prepare both at home. This video shows a skilled professional slicing chicken breast paper thin. I am so not a professional. I trim and butterfly my chicken best I can and use a meat mallet, rolling pin or a heavy frying pan to get the rest of the job done. The process is very similar for beef. Just make sure your meat is very cold, almost frozen, cut against the grain as thin as you can, put it between two sheets of oiled plastic wrap and gently pound it into submission, being sure to pound from the center out. We’re going for about 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Above all take your time. The object of the game is thin, don’t worry about pretty, we’re going to coat them in breading anyway. 😉
1 lb chicken or beef, prepared as described above
salt and pepper for seasoning
juice of 1 lime
1 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp each chicken bouillon, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder
1/2 teaspoon each cumin and cayenne
oil for frying
- Season each piece of meat with salt, pepper and a little lime juice. Layer the slices in a dish, cover with plastic and refrigerate while you set up a breading station.
- For your breading setup, you will need 3 shallow, dishes. I use cake pans but anything shallow and wide enough to fit your bisteces will work. Place the flour in one, beat the eggs in another and combine the bread crumbs and all of the seasoning in the last.
- For each slice of meat, the process is as follows. Dredge in flour and shake off excess. Dip in egg and allow excess to run off. Place the meat flat in the dish of seasoned bread crumbs, cover with bread crumbs and lightly press the breadcrumbs into both sides. Gently shake off and excess and set aside to rest at least 10 minutes after all the meat is breaded. This improves adhesion and helps prevent breading from falling off and burning in the oil.
- Heat 1/2 inch of cooking oil in a pan over medium heat.
- Fry each piece of meat until golden brown and crispy, about 4 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.
Serve. Pop your collar, you’ve just created a breaded and fried masterpiece. Eat.
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