Bombs away, I say, with assertive flavors from the prosciutto, sage, and lemon and an elegant mouthfeel from the wine-butter sauce. Crispiness comes from the sauteed prosciutto and the fried sage leaves. They are listed as an optional part of the recipe but I encourage you to consider them a Must!
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Recipe source: The Best Chicken Recipes cookbook, from the editors of Cook’s Illustrated
Yield: 4 servings
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and with tenderloins removed
- ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- Ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage leaves (not optional)
- 8 large sage leaves (optional)
- 8 thin prosciutto slices (approx. 3 ounces)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ¼ cups dry vermouth or white wine
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and chilled
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
- Slice each chicken breast in half horizontally; each chicken breast will yield two cutlets. Place each cutlet – smooth side down – between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound it to a uniform ¼-inch thickness.
- Combine the flour and 1 teaspoon pepper in a shallow dish. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess. Lay the cutlets flat and sprinkle evenly with the minced sage. Place 1 prosciutto slice on top of each cutlet, pressing lightly to adhere; set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until beginning to shimmer. Add the whole sage leaves (if using) and cook until the leaves begin to change color and are fragrant, about 15 to 20 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sage to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
- Add 4 cutlets to the pan, prosciutto-side down, and cook until lightly browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Flip the chicken over and continue to cook until no longer pink, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer the chicken to a plate and tent loosely with foil. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet and repeat with the remaining 4 cutlets. Transfer to the plate and tent loosely with foil while making the sauce.
- Pour off the excess fat from the skillet. Stir in the vermouth, scraping up any browned bits, and simmer until reduced to about 1/3 cup, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice. Turn the heat to low and whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Off the heat, stir in the parsley band season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, place a sage leaf on each cutlet (if using) and serve.