Chicken Milanese with Tomato and Fennel Sauce
(Adapted from Giada At Home)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups plain dried bread crumbs
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 (6 to 8 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, tenderloins removed
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and thinly sliced, fronds reserved for garnish
2 cups (12 ounces) cherry tomatoes, halved
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
1/2 cup (4 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
For the chicken: Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 150 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a wire rack.
Spoon the flour into a wide, shallow bowl.
Crack the eggs into another wide, shallow bowl; lightly beat them. In a third wide, shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, basil and thyme.
On a work surface, place the chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet, lightly pound the chicken until approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. (You can also use a skillet, glass or anything with a flat bottom.)
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly, then dip into the beaten egg, allowing the excess egg to drip off.
Coat the chicken with the bread crumb mixture, pressing gently to adhere.
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 pan.
Add the fennel and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 5 to 6 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat. Add the mascarpone cheese and stir until the mixture is creamy. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.