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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

chicken saltimbocca

chicken saltimbocca

I can't believe I've been cooking this long and haven't discovered Cook's Illustrated until now. I've seen it in stores, just never realized how amazing the content could be. There are no ads, just informative articles and research about how best to create recipes (my favorite cookbook du jour, "The New Best Recipe", is in the same style, presumably because it's a compilation of all the recipes from their magazine). In the April 2008 issue, they cover chicken saltimbocca, with the intention of making it a viable weeknight option (the original calls for veal -- and isn't much different than this recipe in how you'd prep it). The only change I made was to use less butter in the sauce -- in my mind, weeknight viability is dependent on healthiness not just convenience. The result is delicious, and I'm not sure I miss the veal at all.
Grocery list: 8 thin boneless chicken cutlets, fresh sage, 1 cup white wine, 1 lemon, butter, 8 thin slices of prosciutto, flour.

flouring chicken

Start by flouring the chicken cutlets: combine 1/2 cup AP flour with salt and pepper in a shallow dish, and dredge the chicken in the flour. Lay them flat on a piece of waxed paper.

prepping chicken and prosciutto

Mince 1 T of sage leaves, and divide the leaves across the tops of each chicken cutlet. Then lay 1 slice of prosciutto on top of the sage (so all the sage is covered), and firmly press the prosciutto so it will stick to the chicken.
chicken saltimbocca in pan

Heat 2 T of olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add 8 whole sage leaves and cook about 20 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel. Add half of the chicken cutlets, prosciutto side down, and cook 3 minutes till golden brown. Flip and cook 2-3 minutes more till golden on both sides. Transfer to a wire rack (which will keep the chicken crispy) over a baking sheet, then place in a warm 200 degree oven. Add 2 more T of oil to the pan, and repeat the process with the remaining chicken.
If there's extra fat in the fry pan, pour out most of it, then pour 1 cup of white wine into the pan. Stir to remove the browned bits and simmer until the sauce is reduced to 1/3 cup (the recipe said 5-7 minutes, but in reality it took me 10-12 minutes). Stir in juice of 1 lemon, turn the heat to low, and whisk in 4 T of butter one at a time (I made a change to the original and only used 2 T), then season with salt and pepper. Place one fried sage leave over each piece of chicken, then pour the sauce over the chicken to serve.

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