Originally an extravagant treat in Buenos Aires’ white table clothed restaurants and adventurous home kitchens, the suprema Maryland is an exercise in umami and excess no matter where you eat it. As a rule, this Argentine chicken milanesa is always served with fried bananas and creamed corn, but it may also include shoestring french fries, roasted bell pepper, peas, ham, and fried eggs.
Buenos Aires-based writer and cook Kevin Vaughn developed his recipe after tasting multiple variations on the dish across Buenos Aires’ old school Hispano-Italian restaurant scene. It’s best shared amongst a table of friends with a cold beer.
While not especially difficult, the recipe does require some prep time and counter space; a mandolin fitted with a 4-millimeter julienne attachment will make fast work of cutting the fries.
Suprema Maryland (Argentine Chicken Milanese with Bananas and Creamed Corn)
This over-the-top Argentine platter is greater than the sum of it’s surprising parts.
For the milanesa:
- 3 large boneless chicken breasts (about 3¼ lb.), butterflied
- 2 cups breadcrumbs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp. finely chopped Italian parsley, divided
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- Kosher salt
- 4 large eggs
For the vegetable garnish:
- 1 medium red bell pepper
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 6 oz. slab bacon, cut into ¼-in. cubes (¼ cup)
- ¾ cups fresh or frozen green peas
For the creamed corn:
- 6 unsalted butter, divided
- 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk, warm
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Pinch of sugar sugar
- ¾ cups finely chopped yellow onion
- 1½ cups fresh corn kernels (from 2 medium cobs)
- ¼ cups heavy cream
For the fried banana and french fries:
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large ripe bananas, cut on the diagonal into 1-in. thick slices
- Canola oil, for frying
- 3 large russet potatoes (about 2¾ lb.), cut into fine shoestrings
- Fine sea salt
- Lemon wedges, to serve
- Prepare the milanesa: Transfer the chicken to a large, resealable plastic bag. Using the flat side of a meat mallet or rolling pin, pound the meat to a ½ inch thickness.
- To a wide bowl, add the flour and season lightly with salt. To a second wide bowl, add the breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon parsley, and 1 teaspoon dried garlic; season lightly with salt and mix well. In a third wide bowl, beat together the eggs and the remaining parsley and dried garlic; season lightly with salt. Working with one chicken breast at a time, dredge the chicken in the flour, followed by the egg mixture, and finally the bread crumb mixture, packing the crumbs onto the chicken to adhere; set the chicken by the stove. Discard any remaining breading ingredients.
- Prepare the vegetable and pancetta garnish: Roast the bell pepper over the open flame of a gas stove or under the broiler, turning occasionally, until blackened, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl or resealable plastic container, cover tightly with plastic wrap or a lid, and set aside until cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes. Using the back of a chef’s knife, scrape off and discard the charred pepper skin. Remove and discard the stem, seeds, and white pith, then slice the pepper flesh into 1-inch squares. To a medium pot over medium heat, add the olive oil; when hot, add the bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, 6–8 minutes. Add the peas and cook, stirring frequently, until glossy and bright green, about 2 minutes more. Remove from heat, stir in the reserved roasted pepper, cover, and set aside.
- Prepare the creamed corn: In a small pot over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. When the foam begins to subside, whisk in the flour and cook, stirring frequently until the mixture begins to smell toasty but does not brown, 1½ –2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the warm milk, turn the heat to medium-high, and bring to boil while whisking. Lower the heat to simmer and cook until the sauce thickens, about 2–3 minutes. Season with a pinch each of salt and sugar, remove from heat, and set aside.
- In a medium pot over medium heat, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter. When the foam begins to subside, add the onion and cook, stirring frequently until translucent, 10–12 minutes. Stir in the corn, and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Fold in the reserved sauce and the heavy cream, and continue cooking until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and keep warm while you fry the potatoes, bananas, and chicken.
- Prepare the fried bananas: To a wide bowl, add the flour; to a second wide bowl, add the beaten eggs. Dredge the bananas in the egg wash, then use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the flour; toss well to coat (it is okay if the flour is a little lumpy and uneven). Transfer the breaded banana to a plate and set it by the stove. Line a large large baking sheet with a few layers of paper towels and set it by the stove as well.
- Fry the potatoes: To a large, heavy pot fitted with a deep-fry thermometer, add canola oil to a depth of 2 inches. Preheat over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 350°F. Fry the potatoes in 2–3 batches (avoid crowding the pan), stirring occasionally, until crisp and golden, 3-4 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon or spider skimmer, transfer the cooked fries to the lined baking sheet, salt lightly, and set aside. (If your kitchen is cool, keep the fries warm in a low oven while you finish cooking the rest of the dish.)
- Finish the dish: Check the temperature of the oil and moderate the heat as needed to maintain 350°F. Fry the reserved chicken milanesa in batches, holding the cutlets down with tongs or a slotted spoon to completely submerge in the oil; cook until evenly golden brown, 4-5 minutes. Transfer the cooked chicken to the lined baking sheet and set aside. Add the reserved bananas to the oil and cook, stirring gently, until their breading begins to bubble and turn a light golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or spider skimmer, transfer to the lined baking sheet. To serve, transfer the milanesas to a large platter. Top with the vegetable mixture and french fries, and arrange the bananas alongside the chicken. Serve with lemon wedges, for squeezing, and creamed corn on the side.