Chicken Saltimbocca

Mercifully, this tumultuous winter is nearing an end. I  awoke on Friday to my latest “catastrophe”; a flooded basement. I spent 12 hours bailing water so that I could jack-hammer a hole in my basement floor. Then dug through the rock and clay deep enough for my newly bought sump pump. Finally, late at night I was able to rest while the pump works its magic. But even three days later the water is still coming into the basement. Certainly nothing in comparison to the disaster 20-miles away where the Passiac river overflowed it’s banks. Cross your fingers that the nice weather will hold out long enough for the ground to dry, so I can get back to cooking.

A simple dish with intense sauce and wonderfully flavorful prosciutto.

Though Saltimbocca is traditionally made from rolled veal and ham. Chris Kimball uses flat chicken cutlet which reduces cooking time down to just a few minutes per side.  Also he ditches the ham and goes with a much more flavorful prosciutto.  The wine and lemon sauce is bright and gives this dish it’s namesake, meaning that the flavor “Jumps in Mouth” (Italian for “saltimbocca”).

I’ve been making this dish for a few years now, and have never made a bad batch. I ignore the sage (which is traditional) because my family doesn’t really like sage.

Comments:

  1. I ask my deli-counter-people to slice the prosciutto a little thick. Otherwise sometimes the pieces might be too thin and broken. However, if the pieces are too thick they won’t stick as well to the chicken, but better to err on the side of too thick than too thin.
  2. Usually, I cut each piece of prosciutto on a diagonal which will fit nicely on each cutlet. In theory you only need 4-slices, but it’s safer to get 5-slices in case of problems.

Recipe Rating: 4-1/2 stars.
Cost: $6.
How much work? Low/Medium.
How big of a mess?  Low.
Start time 6:10 AM. Dinner time at 7 PM.

Chris Kimball’s original is here. The descriptions of how I cooked them today are given below:

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken cutlets (4 pieces)
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
5 slices of prosciutto
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 cups white wine (or dry vermouth)
Juice from 1 lemon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves, minced
1 teaspoon table salt
Ground black pepper

  1. Use a regular, not a non-stick skillet, for a flavorful pan sauce.
  2. Lay chicken cutlets flat on cutting board and freeze for 15 minutes. Cut each cutlet horizontally forming a total of 8 thin cutlets. Trim any ragged edges as necessary and trim chicken tips back 1 to 2 inches to make the cutlet of uniform shape.
  3. Cut each piece of prosciutto to match the shape of the chicken.
  4. Adjust the oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 225 degrees. This will be used to keep the first batch of chicken warm; not to cook it.
  5. Combine flour and 1 teaspoon pepper in shallow dish or pie plate.
  6. Heat 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil in 12-inch regular (not non-stick) skillet over medium-high heat.
  7. Working in batches of 3 or 4 (depending upon how many will fit in the skillet), pat cutlets dry with paper towels.
  8. Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off any excess.
  9. Lay cutlets flat and place 1 prosciutto slice on top of each cutlet. It will not adhere until cooked.
  10. Add cutlets to fill you pan, prosciutto-side down, and cook until light golden brown; about 4 minutes.
  11. Carefully flip each piece and cook on other side until light golden brown, about 6 minutes more.
  12. Transfer to wire rack set on rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in oven while you prepare the second batch.
  13. Repeat with remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons oil and cutlets (from step 6), then put in oven to keep warm while preparing sauce.
  14. Pour off excess fat from skillet, if any. Turn up heat and add white wine, scraping up any browned bits that were left behind. Reduced the sauce to about 1/2 cup; 7 minutes.
  15. Finally, add the lemon juice and whisk in butter, adding 1 tablespoon at a time. Off heat, stir in chopped parsley.
  16. Remove chicken from oven and place on platter. Spoon sauce over cutlets before serving.

procuito

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