My Life in Peru

An Expat Mom Shares Her Experiences with Peruvian Life, Travel and Food

Milanesa de Pollo

Posted on | April 7, 2011 | 3 Comments

Feb. 10 breaded chicken with lemon (Recipe)

Image by magzalez via Flickr

Milanesa de Pollo is a standard meat dish in coastal Peruvian restaurants. Basically, it’s a simple chicken fillet, made from boneless breast meat. Occasionally, you’ll find it listed on the recipe board as “suprema de pollo”. In Plaza Vea they sell both – Milanesa uses breast meat, Suprema uses thigh meat.  From the name, it’s fairly obvious that the dish is adapted from earlier Italian recipes.

At it’s most basic, it’s a flattened piece of breaded chicken that’s lightly fried, then served alongside a variety of dishes such as tallarines verdes, tallarines rojos or just simply accompanied with rice and fried potatoes.

To make it yourself, simply take boneless chicken breasts and use a meat hammer or whatever else you have at your disposal to flatten the meat out as flat as you can get it.


  • Flattened chicken fillets
  • salt,pepper
  • flour
  • fine bread crumbs (Italian flavored is great if you’ve got it)
  1. Mix the flour and bread crumbs together in a large, shallow bowl. I use about 2 parts flour to 1 part bread crumbs.
  2. Season the fillets on both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Pass the fillets through the breading mixture.  Use your fingers to press the breading onto the chicken, you want it to stick. Lightly shake off any excess.
  4. Fry in a bit of oil until golden on both sides, then drain on paper towels to remove the excess oil.

Now – that’s a basic recipe. Some people pass it through flour, then eggs, then the bread crumbs – others add a bunch of other seasonings to the breading mix. And that’s ok! You can make this as simple or complicated as you want.

Here’s a video that shows how to do it in three steps – flour, eggs, bread crumbs. I’m including it so you can see how they do the breading, making sure that the chicken is well covered.

I love milanesa because it’s such a quick and simple go-to recipe when I’m cooking in a hurry. And the reason it’s so quick and easy for me is that I buy milenesas at the market, pre-breaded and ready to cook.

If you’re in Peru, you can go to your local market (I like Mercado #2 in Surquillo) and any of the stalls selling chickens will do milanesa for you. They cost about 1 sol each and are about the size of a large hamburger patty.  I buy a dozen at a time, and take them home and freeze them, separated in little plastic freezer or sandwich bags so that they don’t freeze together. You can also pack them together in a large bag, just make sure to  separate them with  a little wax paper.  When I need something quick for dinner, I just take out however many milenesa I need.

They also make great sandwiches, fried and served on a French roll (pan frances) with a bit of mayo and lettuce.


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3 Responses to “Milanesa de Pollo”

  1. Eloy
    June 18th, 2011 @ 09:46

    This is nothing more than the traditional Chicken Fried Steak from Texas with a twist of Italian seasoning.

  2. Kelly
    June 18th, 2011 @ 13:55

    Sure – and then of course, this is chicken, that’s steak. 😉 It’s also quite similar to weiner schnitzel.

  3. peruvian princess
    November 29th, 2012 @ 17:59

    I am peruvian from cusco and I know the peruvian food tradicionally is a mix of diferent countries cantanese african bietnam italian german indian or hindu and more countries that’s why the food is similar than another countries and what ever they call in peru we can’t call steak or schnitzel. We talk spanish and we call milaneza that in german is schnitzel is like peruvian arroz con pollo we do with cilander and in india they call rice with cilander is the same just we have to name it in a spanish language my mother in law one day made schnitzel and she said she learned in germany I call milanesa the diference you make gravy and some cabage side dish german in peru yellow rice green spaguetty and salad and is done hope everybody enjoy the diferent way to do pollo apanado o milaneza or schnitzel can be chicken pork meat just enjoy :)

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    I got tired of life happening while I made other plans, so I quit my job and came to Peru. I live here with my Peruvian husband, two sons, three dogs and various other family members, depending on the weather.

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