Crispy Chicken Cutlets With Taleggio Cheese & Prosciutto

I love crispy chicken cutlets, and am always looking for new ways to serve them. One day, after convincing my husband that chicken was the best choice for dinner yet again, I went through my refrigerator and pantry looking for inspiration for a new way to prepare it. I had some tasty, creamy tallegio cheese and a package of prosciutto in my refrigerator that I wanted to use up that I decided would be delicious on top of my crisp cutlets. I also had a bowl full of cherry tomatoes just at their peak that were perfect for a fresh sauce to serve with the cutlets. The dish turned out even better than I had hoped for, and has now become my new favorite chicken recipe.

A chicken cutlet is simply a boneless, skinless chicken breast that has been sliced lengthwise into thin slices about 1/3 of an inch thick. If you cannot find the chicken already cut into slices it is simple to do yourself. Just freeze the chicken breasts until they just about frozen and with a sharp knife cut into cutlets. Use a meat mallet and lightly pound the cutlets until they are of equal thickness.

Taleggio is a washed rind Italian cheese that is named after Val Taleggio. The cheese has a strong aroma, but its flavour is comparatively mild with an unusual fruity tang. Its crust, or rind is thin and can be eaten although I do cut it off myself. If you cannot find taleggio, any other tasty melting cheese would work such as an Italian Fontina, although the taleggio adds a unique flavor to this dish.

As I always say, homemade breadcrumbs really do make this dish better. I always keep my leftover bread, cutting it into cubes and then freezing it for when I need fresh breadcrumbs. When I want breadcrumbs, I then throw a hand full of the cubes into my food processor, still frozen, with whatever seasonings I want. I then pulse the mixture until it reaches the desired texture.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011

Crispy Chicken Cutlets With Talegio Cheese & Prosciutto

This is one of my favorite chicken dishes that meshes crispy, golden brown chicken, and creamy cheese and sweet prosciutto.

Ingredients:

For The Cutlets:

  • 4 Chicken Cutlets
  • 3 Cups Stale Bread Cubes
  • 1 Teaspoon Grated Lemon Zest
  • 1 Teaspoon Chopped Red Chile Pepper (Optional)
  • 3 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Pine Nuts
  • Sea Salt
  • Cracked Black Pepper
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 4 Slices Taleggio Cheese (About 12 Ounces)
  • 4 Slices Prosciutto

For The Sauce:

  • 4 Cups Ripe Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil
  • Sea Salt
  • Cracked Black Pepper

Directions:

  1. For the cutlets, place the bread cubes, lemon zest, chile pepper, parsley, grated cheese, sea salt and pepper in the food processor, and pulse until finely blended.
  2. Add the pine nuts and pulse just until the nuts are coarsely chopped.
  3. Beat the eggs and dip the cutlets first into the eggs, then the breadcrumbs and press with your fingertips to help the crumbs adhere.
  4. Refrigerate the chicken for one hour to allow the crumb coating to set.
  5. To prepare the sauce, heat the oil in a small saucepan until hot.
  6. Add the garlic and cook just until it is sizzling.
  7. Add the cherry tomatoes, salt, pepper, and basil, and cook for about 10 minutes on low heat just until the tomatoes begin to soften and break down. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  8. To cook the cutlets, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  9. Place the butter and olive oil in a flat casserole dish or pan large enough to hold all of the cutlets and place the cutlets on top.
  10. Cook for 10 minutes until the cutlets are browned on one side and turn.
  11. Cook an additional 10 minutes or until the cutlets are cooked through.
  12. Place a slice of the cheese on top of each cutlet, and then return to the oven just until the cheese melts.
  13. Top with the prosciutto, and serve on individual plates with a scoop of the cherry tomato sauce on each plate.