Chicken Milanese with Tomato and Fennel Sauce

I’m more and likely one of the last people in the world to try fennel bulb, but that’s ok it’s on my list of never had tried it and now I can check it off. My husbands a huge fan of the seasoning fennel and I’m not, so I had my fingers crossed this wouldn’t taste like that. The fennel bulb tasted and smelled more like anise.

I had to research online to see what they looked like and how to prep them. They say the easiest thing to do is use a vegetable peeler and remove the outer skin then slice it up.

Chicken Milanese with Tomato and Fennel Sauce
(Adapted from Giada At Home)

Chicken:
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

Sauce:
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.

In a large, nonstick saute pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Place 2 pieces of breaded chicken in the oil and cook until light golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

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.

For the sauce: Add the olive oil to the reserved cooking juices in the saute pan and heat over medium heat.

Add the fennel and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 5 to 6 minutes.

Add the cherry tomatoes, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the tomatoes are tender.

Remove the pan from the heat. Add the mascarpone cheese and stir until the mixture is creamy. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.

To serve, arrange the chicken on a serving platter and spoon the sauce on top. Garnish with the fennel fronds.