There are many variations of this Italian classic which is most often made by sautéing veal scaloppini topped with fresh sage and thin slices of prosciutto. This version uses less expensive chicken breasts in place of the veal and is kept light by simply dredging the scaloppini in flour rather than the breadcrumbs found in some recipes. You probably know that saltimbocca means to “jump in your mouth” which is exactly what this dish does when properly prepared.
This really is a very elegant dish that can be pulled together in mere minutes once all the ingredients are prepped. After the meat has been cooked, the pan is deglazed with some dry vermouth or white wine, a splash of lemon juice and butter creating a tasty sauce that lightly coats the meat. If your chicken breasts are partially frozen, they are much easier to cut.
Deborah Mele 2013
- 4 (6 Ounce) Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 3/4 Cup All-purpose Flour Seasoned With Salt & Pepper
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Sage Leaves
- 8 Thin Slices of Prosciutto
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 Cups Dry Vermouth or Dry White Wine
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
- 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- Fresh Sage Leaves As Garnish
- Slice each chicken breast in half lengthwise, then pound thin with a meat mallet. Chicken should be about 1/4 inch thick.
- Place the seasoned flour in a shallow bowl, and dredge each piece of chicken on both sides, then place on a baking sheet.
- Sprinkle the top of each cutlet with the chopped sage, then cover with a slice of prosciutto.
- Press the prosciutto to help it to adhere to the chicken and then refrigerate until needed.
- 30 minutes before you plan to cook, remove the chicken from the refrigerator.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat until lightly smoking, then place 4 cutlets in the pan prosciutto side down.
- Cook the cutlet until you can see the edges are beginning to brown, about 3 minutes.
- Carefully flip the cutlets over, and reduce heat to medium and cook until no longer pink inside, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Move the cutlets to a warm platter, cover with foil, and cook the remaining cutlets in the same manner.
- Once all the cutlets are cooked and moved to the platter, add the wine 9or vermouth) and lemon juice to the pan and scrapping up and browned bits, cook over high heat until the liquid has been reduced to about 1/2 cup.
- Add the butter and season with salt and pepper and stir until blended.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken and garnish with fresh sage leaves.
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated