Chicken Milanese and The Toilet Transporter

Click on the pic to see how to slice chicken breasts in half

I was in a hotshot, up-and-coming rock band called BootCamp. We had two of the first 100 videos on MTV. Record companies were calling. Managers were courting us. We got an offer from a club on the beach in the Hamptons (Long Island, New York), an offer to play all summer long. We didn’t have to think too long. We took the gig.

It was the summer of 1980. It was the wildest summer of our lives. We lived in a funky little shack right across the road from the club, a place called Neptune Beach Club. BootCamp did really well that first summer. So well, in fact, that they asked us back to play the following summer–the whole summer, six nights a week, and twice on Saturdays and Sundays.

I told my Dad about it.

He called me the next day. Get this – he wanted me to go to my uncle’s house (his brother, Oscar), pick up a toilet, and take it to my Dad’s girlfriend’s house in Long Island. Why? I don’t know. It’s not that toilets are expensive or rare. You can find them just about anywhere.

And just why am I taking this toilet to my Dad’s girlfriend’s house anyway? Was my Dad trying to impress her? “Hey, honey, I’m getting you a new toilet for your birthday. My kid’s gonna hand deliver it.”

I thought at first my Dad was screwing with me. But when I called Oscar, he confirmed the story. He told me he had the toilet – a new one he had left over from his new house – and I was supposed to pick up this toilet at Oscar’s house in Baltimore, Maryland, drive it up the New Jersey Turnpike, and drop it off in Long Island at my Dad’s girlfriend’s house on the way to my big gig in the Hamptons.

And the kicker? My Dad wasn’t going to be there. Neither was his girlfriend. His girlfriend’s Turkish father was supposed be there. And? Her father didn’t speak English. Not a word.

The BootCamp Boys packed up the old Chrysler station wagon that belonged to our keyboard player’s Dad. We packed for the whole summer. We had a ton of suitcases, keyboards, and guitars —everything we’d need for three months away from home. After we packed, we went to my uncle’s house, and picked up the toilet.

We put it on top of all our stuff. Four rock stars with a toilet in the back of an old beat-up station wagon, and the toilet was clearly visible for all passing motorists to see. We headed up the New Jersey Turnpike.

We decided to have some fun.

Whenever we’d stop at a rest area, we’d take the toilet out of the car and carry it into the men’s room. And then carry it back out to the car. Like it was the normal thing to do. It was the beginning of summer. The rest areas were crowded with folks heading to the beaches.

And these folks were staring at us. Four wannabe rock stars, with 1980s hairdos that looked like several small animals had perched on top of our heads, carrying a toilet in and out of the men’s room; then packing it into an old Chrysler, and driving off.

When we got to my Dad’s girlfriend’s house in Long Island, I took the toilet out of the car, and carried it to the house, and rang the bell. A short man with wavy hair opened the door. He took a look at me, and then at the toilet. He obviously had no idea who I was, or why I was there.

So, I’m standing there with a toilet in my arms, trying to explain who I was and why I was there. The guy understood nothing. Not a word. I kept saying, “Toilet! Toilet for you!” I started yelling, as if by saying it louder, maybe he’d understand what I was saying. “TOILET! TOILET FOR YOU!”

He looked at me like I was from another planet. I finally just left the toilet on the porch and walked away. I waved goodbye as we pulled out of the driveway.

Come to think of it, I hope I had the right house.


After hauling toilets up and down the east coast, there’s nothing like a nice dish of chicken Milanese.

Chicken Milanese is pretty much the same as chicken cutlets, except you slice your breasts thinner, and you put them in flour first; then you dip them in the egg, then the breadcrumbs. You don’t usually add any sauce or cheese to chicken Milanese. They are molto delicato. You eat them plain.

They’re that good! Some folks pound their breasts to make them really thin. I just slice them into ¼ inch cutlets.

I cook the cutlets in equal amounts of olive oil and butter. Some folks use just butter, but I had to Slimmify it a bit.

Always be careful when handling raw chicken; clean every surface and utensil, and clean your hands while you’re at it.

My favorite breadcrumbs these days are Progresso Panko Italian Style. I don’t get any money from Progresso, but if they offer, I’m taking.


6 thin chicken breast cutlets (1/4 inch thick), boneless, skinless

½ cup flour

2 eggs

Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Breadcrumbs (2 cups–you might not use them all)

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

Here we go…

Rinse off your breasts and pat them dry with paper towels. Do the same with the chicken breasts.

Put your flour on a flat plate.

Put 2 eggs in a bowl, add salt and fresh cracked black pepper, and beat ‘em!

Put your breadcrumbs on another plate.

Take a chicken cutlet, press it into the flour, turn it over, do the same on the other side.

Dip it in the egg, both sides.

Put the cutlet on the breadcrumbs, and press. Do the same with the other side of the cutlet.

Put the breaded cutlet on a plate.

Do this with all 6 breasts.

Get a large sauté pan. Put it on medium-high heat. Add the butter and the olive oil.

When the butter starts to brown, add the breasts to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes until golden brown.

Turn over, and do the same on the other side.

Remove to a warm platter.

Garnish with a few sprigs of Italian flat leaf parsley, maybe a couple of circular lemon slices and…