Thin It Out
Chicken Cutlets Are Like Nuggets for Adults. Here’s How to Make Them
Chicken breasts don’t have to be bland and dry: pounding them thin into cutlet form, breading and pan frying brings renewed texture. Top it off with prosciutto and fried sage, as chef Alex Guarnaschelli outlines in her new cookbook, The Home Cook, and what results is a relatively low-lift dinner that’s just as flavorful as it is comforting. Consider grinding bread crumbs into a finer consistency for improved crispiness — it’s an extra step that doesn’t add much time, but has a tangible impact on the finished product.
Chicken Cutlets with Prosciutto and Sage
Serves 2 to 4
4 skinless chicken breasts (about 4 ounces each), pounded thin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups plain, finely ground dried bread crumbs
3/4 cup canola oil
8 slices prosciutto (3 1/2 or 4 ounces), torn into bite-size pieces
16 to 24 fresh sage leaves
2 large garlic cloves, grated
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Prepare the cutlets: Season both sides of the chicken cutlets with oregano and salt. Put the eggs in a medium shallow bowl and the bread crumbs in another. Dip each piece of chicken in the egg (on both sides) and then in the bread crumbs, shaking off any excess. Arrange the cutlets on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes, reserving the bowls of eggs and crumbs. Repeat the breading process. Refrigerate again.
2. Cook the prosciutto and the sage: In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and add half of the prosciutto pieces and cook until crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the prosciutto to a plate lined with a kitchen towel. Add another tablespoon of canola oil and repeat with the remaining prosciutto. Add the sage leaves to the skillet and cook until they turn pale in color and become crispy, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to the towel-lined plate and season with salt. Off the heat, stir the garlic into the cooking oil and season it with salt to taste. Allow the garlic to simmer in the warm oil for 1 to 2 minutes to cook off the raw flavor, then transfer garlic and oil to a medium bowl.
3. Cook the chicken cutlets: Heat the remaining canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it starts to smoke lightly, add the chicken cutlets in a single layer and cook on their first side until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn them over onto to the other side and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the cutlets to a kitchen towel to drain. It’s better to cook these in batches than to overcrowd the pan.
4. Make the vinaigrette and finish the dish: In the bowl containing the reserved garlic and oil, whisk together the red wine vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange the cutlets on a serving platter and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Top with sage leaves and prosciutto.
The recipe above appears in The Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart, by Alex Guarnaschelli, published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Buy Now: $23