This is a simple recipe with lots of room for play. Tailor it to your tastes by adding hot sauce to the buttermilk, or dry seasonings to the flour that crusts the chicken. Use whichever greens you prefer (or have on hand) for the crowning salad, and toss them with your favorite vinaigrette, whatever that may be.
You might even make it a little healthier by baking the chicken instead of frying it. It will take longer to cook completely, but the great crunch of the Panko breadcrumbs should be the same.
1. Prep your ingredients: Clean your chicken and halve each breast lengthwise. Season both sides of all the chicken with salt and pepper.
2. Create three bowls -- one with flour, one with the buttermilk, and one with panko breadcrumbs. Dredge all of the chicken, first in the flour, then the buttermilk, and finally, in the breadcrumbs. Set aside.
3. Into a large, high-lipped saute pan, pour an inch deep of oil and bring to medium-high heat. (When you think the oil is hot enough, add a few sprinkles of breadcrumbs to the pan. If the breadcrumbs float to the top and start bubbling right away, the oil is hot enough.)
4. Next, add 2-3 pieces of chicken to the pan and cook for a couple minutes on the first side before flipping and finishing cooking on the second side. Remove from the oil and let rest on a paper towel. Cook all of the chicken.
5. When you are ready to serve, toss the fresh arugula with the juice of the lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper.
6. Place the chicken on a plate, top with a heaping handful of the salad, and finish with freshly grated Parmesan.