A chicken milanesa is a very common dish in Cuzco’s restaurants as well as in its picanterias. In both it is generally offered as an extra. It is a delicious an well known dish, a cutlet of chicken breaded and fried white rice, french-fries, and a cucumber and tomato salad. You will find this dish offered most days. People do not tire of it.
In our picanterias it is just one more of the famous extras offered. There the women serve up very large plates filled with food and you can have seconds. The cost is a bit more than the fixed price lunch. That is why they are called extras. Some women will serve up the chicken milanesa with boiled moraya or white freeze-dried potatoes instead of french-fries.
Many people think this dish looks simple and think anyone can make it. But they are wrong. Before being served the milanesa goes through a whole process of preparation that is not at all easy, despite what some people think.
You have to cook up the rice; peel, slice and fry the potatoes in long fries or in rounds, prepare the salad. These are the easy parts of making this dish. Now comes the chicken, the dish’s star. Some people think the chicken breasts must be cut into a long and wide mass so that the milanesa will come out large. Instead you cut out of the breast medium sized fillets and then pound the meet with a hammer while it is covered with breadcrumbs. As the meat is pounded it enlarges and the bread sticks to it. Then it is ready to be submerged in beaten egg and now, only now, ready to go to a fry pan.
This is one of the forms that the people of Cuzco rely on to make a good and delicious chicken milanesa. Even though this is not a typical dish of our city, since it comes from elsewhere, we all eat it as if it were ours and ours alone.