Weekly Winner … and Brushing Up on the Basics

For fun, I have enrolled in America’s Test Kitchen‘s online cooking school.  I’ve always loved the TV show, and get both magazines (Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country) and some of my favorite recipes have come from one or the other.

I asked my husband to pick some homework assignments for me to complete …recipes he wanted me to make after watching the video and taking the appropriate online course.  His first pick was Chicken Saltimbocca.  There is nothing about this recipe that is advanced or intricate, but sometimes it’s a good idea to take a refresher course on the basics.  In this case it was sauteing and pan sauces.  So off to school I went …. and if I do say so myself, I think I passed this test with flying colors!

Chicken Saltimbocca

Serves 4

Ingredients

½ Cup all-purpose flour

ground black pepper

8  Thin boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)

1  Tablespoon minced fresh sage leaves plus 8 large leaves

8 Thin Slices prosciutto (about 3 ounces)

4 Tablespoons olive oil

1¼ Cups vermouth

1 lemon

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1  Tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves

table salt

Prepare Ingredients

  • 1. Trim 8 chicken cutlets of ragged edges.
  • 2. Mince fresh sage leaves to obtain 1 tablespoon. If using, set aside 8 large leaves for optional garnish.
  • 3. Cut 8 thin slices prosciutto into 5- to 6-inch long pieces to match size of chicken cutlets.
  • 4. Juice 1 lemon to obtain 2 teaspoons.
  • 5. Cut 4 tablespoons butter into 4 pieces and chill in refrigerator.
  • 6. Mince fresh parsley to obtain 1 tablespoon.
  • 7. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees.

Prepare Chicken

  • 8. Combine 1/2 cup flour and 1 teaspoon pepper in shallow dish.
  • 9. Pat cutlets dry with paper towels.
  • 10. Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off any excess.
  • 11. Lay cutlets flat and sprinkle evenly with minced sage.
  • 12. Place 1 prosciutto slice on top of each cutlet, pressing lightly to adhere. Set aside.

Cook Sage Garnish

  • 13. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until beginning to shimmer.
  • 14. Add whole sage leaves (if using) and cook until leaves begin to change color and are fragrant, 15 to 20 seconds.
  • 15. Using tongs or slotted spoon, remove sage to paper towel-lined plate; reserve.

Cook Chicken

  • 16. Add half of cutlets to pan, prosciutto-side down.
  • 17. Cook until light golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • 18. Flip cutlets.
  • 19. Cook on other side until light golden brown, about 2 minutes more.
  • 20. Transfer to wire rack set on rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in oven.
  • 21. Repeat with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and cutlets, then transfer to oven to keep warm while preparing sauce.

Make Pan Sauce

  • 22. Pour off excess fat from skillet.
  • 23. Stir in 1 1/4 cups vermouth, scraping up any browned bits.
  • 24. Simmer until reduced to about 1/3 cup, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • 25. Stir in lemon juice.
  • 26. Turn heat to low. Whisk in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • 27. Off heat, stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Plate and Serve

  • 28. Remove chicken from oven and place on platter.
  • 29. Spoon sauce over cutlets.
  • 30. If using, garnish each cutlet with 1 fried sage leaf. Serve.
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