I have to say “Wow” to this dish. And admit that Shanlee inspired me to make it with her blog post, in which she describes how it turned her husband, a chicken-hater, into a chicken-lover. Oh, Martha Stewart. How you make foodies out of all of us! Can I play you when someone makes your version of Julie/Julia? Heck, I should write the damn blog-turned-book-turned-movie. “Martha & Me.”
Back to why this dish works: A twist on veal saltimbocca, a Roman classic. The chicken cutlet is only lightly seasoned – in fact, rather unseasoned, and just lightly fried. But that works perfectly with the rather strong, salty flavor of the prosciutto and the amazingly powerful sage leaf that magically infuses the whole chicken breast. I usually think cooked prosciutto is too gamey, but not so in this dish.
A simple white-wine and sage sauce spooned over at the last minute adds an extra tang and richness, tying the whole thing together.
Here’s what impressed me: the prosciutto actually stayed ON the chicken when I pan-fried it! When I do this method with bacon or pancetta, it seems like the pork always falls off somehow. But not here. The thin prosciutto held onto the chicken, trapping the sage leaf inside like a pressed flower.
We really loved this and I will definitely be making this again. It would be perfect for company because it doens’t take long (30 min. total), can easily be multiplied and has wide appeal (My W-S friends? Interested?).
1/4 c. flour
Kosher salt and pepper
One fresh sage leaf for every chicken breast, plus 4 more, chopped (sage keeps for weeks in the fridge)
4 chicken cutlets (I bought one package – 1.25 lbs – of “thinly sliced” chicken breasts from the store, which basically had five cutlets that I didn’t have to pound out. Use whatever you can find.)
One slice of prosciutto for every chicken cutlet (I just bought one pre-sliced package)
4 tsp. EVOO
3/4 c. dry white wine (pinot griggio?)
1/3 c. chicken stock
1 T cold butter
In a shallow bowl, stir flour, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Set aside.
Lay one sage leaf on each cutlet and wrap the prosciutto around it, pressing to seal. Dredge each cutlet in the flour and tap off excess.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tsp oil over medium. Cook 2 cutlets at a time until golden brown on each side and cooked through – about 4 min. per side for me. Remove cutlets to a plate with foil and keep warm while you add more oil and cook the rest. I put the chicken in the oven on “keep warm” while I made the sauce.
Add wine and broth to skillet and cook until reduced, 2 min. Let cool 1 min. and add butter and minced sage. Stir until melted.
To serve, Martha says to spoon the sauce on the plate, then the chicken. We served ours with toast and some couscous with almonds – even mashed potatoes would work here. A simple side salad would be nice.
Please enjoy this elegant take on a simple chicken recipe. Stay hungry, friends! xoxo