Lunchbreak: Chicken Giardiniera

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Frank Ruffolo, Managing Partner, Franco’s Restaurant Group

Franco’s Ristorante

300 W. 31st, Chicago (at Princeton, two blocks west of the Dan Ryan at 31st St.)


Il Culaccino

2138 S. Indiana, Chicago (just minutes away from Wintrust Arena, nearby hotels and McCormick Place)


Chicken Giardiniera is a delicious, seasoned and breaded chicken cutlet. The star of the dish is Franco’s house-made giardiniera. We serve this at Franco’s with oven-roasted potatoes, and you can also serve it with pasta or rice.

One whole chicken breast, filleted into two pieces and pounded into ¼- to ½-inch thickness.

Flour mixture for dredging:

  • 1 cup flour in a separate bowl or plate
  • 2 cups store-bought or homemade seasoned breadcrumbs, in a separate bowl
  • 2 eggs mixed with ½ cup milk in separate bowl
  • Add to the egg mixture, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, ½ tsp granulated garlic

Other ingredients:

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup mild or hot giardiniera (mild or hot)
  • crushed red pepper flakes (amount to your liking)
  • Calabrian chilis in oil (drained)
  1. In heavy frying pan, pour extra virgin olive oil and heat until it sizzles.
  2. Dip chicken breasts in the dredging mixture in the following order: flour, egg wash and bread crumbs.
  3. Sautee chicken on both sides — about 3 minutes per side — until golden brown.
  4. Transfer chicken to baking dish and add 1 cup giardiniera, dried crushed red pepper and Calabrian chilis.
  5. Finish the chicken in a 400 degree oven until instant-read thermometer measures 165 degrees. Serve alongside potatoes, pasta or rice.


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