Cook's Illustrated (March/April 2008)
I must confess that I had never heard of Chicken Saltimbocca before seeing this recipe in Cook's. But what's not to like about prosciutto-covered chicken in a lemon butter sauce? We had picked the recipe out as one that we'd like to cook, and with our friends Sarah and Erica coming over for a Wednesday night dinner and a little Project Runway, it seemed like a good time to try this recipe.
Cooking for friends can be tricky -- you're never quite sure what some people eat, and we tend to try new recipes when friends come over, which can make for exciting results or hilariously bad meals. We once had friends over and decided to try our hand at making pasta for the first time. You've never seen fatter or chewier fettuccine.
This dish fell somewhere in between. It was tasty for certain, but did not have as large a flavor as we were expecting. As you can see in comparing our photo to the one featured in Cook's (below), our prosciutto was likely too thick.
It kind of just ended up tasting like poached chicken -- delicious, extremely moist chicken, for sure. Just not all that remarkable.
We served the chicken over Trader Joe's Lemon Pepper Pappardelle Pasta, which we first heard about over at The Kitchn. If you haven't tried it, we highly recommend picking up a package. The recipe, on the other hand, we would recommend trying, but perhaps not serving it for guests.
Cook's Illustrated (March/April 2008)
Buy cutlets that are approximately 5 to 6 inches long. If the tip is too thin, trim back 1 to 2 inches to make the cutlet of uniform thickness. If cutlets are unavailable, you can make your own with four (8-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts. Although whole sage leaves make a beautiful presentation, that are optional and can be left out of step 3. Make sure to buy prosciutto that is thinly sliced, not shaved; also avoid slices that are too thick, as they won't stick to the chicken.
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
Ground black pepper
8 thin boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets (about 2 pounds), trimmed of ragged edges as necessary
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage leaves, plus 8 large leaves (optional)
8 thin slices prosciutto cut into 5- to 6-inch-long pieces to match chicken (about 3 ounces)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 cups dry vermouth or white wine
2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and chilled
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Combine flour and 1 teaspoon pepper in shallow dish.
2. Pat cutlets dry with paper towels. Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off any excess. Lay cutlets flat and sprinkle evenly with minced sage. Place 1 prosciutto slice on top of each cutlet, pressing lightly to adhere set aside. 3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until beginning to shimmer. Add sage leaves (if using) and cook until leaves begin to change color and are fragrant, about 15 to 20 seconds. Using slotted spoon, remove sage to paper towel-lined plate; reserve. Add half of cutlets to pan, prosciutto-side down, and cook until light golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook on other side until light golden brown, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and cutlets, then transfer to oven to keep warm while preparing sauce.
4. Pour off excess fat from skillet. Stir in vermouth, scraping up any browned bits, and simmer until reduced to about 1/3 cup, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in lemon juice. Turn heat to low and whisk in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Off heat, stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper. Remove chicken from oven and place on a platter. Spoon sauce over cutlets before serving.