Chicken saltimbocca combines some of our favorite things–chicken, prosciutto, and cheese–to great effect. Then a lemony, white wine pan-sauce gets drizzled on everything.
Chicken saltimbocca is an Italian classic with its prosciutto and cheese and sage and easy pan sauce made with a splash of wine and the pan drippings. It’s essentially an Italian take on chicken cordon bleu and it’s quite lovely in an old-fashioned sorta way. It’s also on the table in 30 minutes and fancy enough for special occasions yet easy enough for everyday. You can understand the appeal.–Angie Zoobkoof
Chicken Saltimbocca FAQs
How do I pound chicken breast?
Pounding a chicken breast ensures faster, more even cooking. This is particularly helpful with breasts, which can be quite a bit thicker at one end. First, trim any fat or membranes from the breast. You can just use a food mallet to gently pound the meat until it’s even. No meat mallet? Just slip the breast under a sheet of plastic wrap or inside a plastic bag and, again, gently pound with a rolling pin, empty wine bottle, or even a small skillet.
Can I use Parmesan cheese instead of Romano?
Yes, you can. Parmesan isn’t as sharp as Roman, so it will give you a milder flavor.
What wine pairs well with chicken saltimbocca?
If you prefer red wine, a fruity pinot noir or barbera is lovely. If white wine is more to your liking, orvieto bianco or pinot grigio are wonderful choices.
- Four (5-ounce) chicken breast cutlets, pounded to an even thinness
- 8 tablespoons semolina
- 4 tablespoons grated Romano
- 1 teaspoon minced parsley plus more for garnish
- Pinch kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 large eggs beaten in a shallow bowl
- 4 tablespoons (2 oz) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 fresh sage leaves
- 1 1/2 ounces prosciutto (4 slices)
- 2 ounces provolone cheese (4 slices)
- 4 ounces dry white wine
- 3 lemon wedges
- Pat the chicken dry. Place it between 2 sheets of parchment paper and pound it to 1/4-inch (6-mm) thickness.
- In a small bowl, mix together the semolina, Romano, parsley, salt, and pepper.
- Working with 1 cutlet at a time, dip it in the egg wash, turning to coat both sides. Hold it above the bowl to allow any excess to drip off and then dredge it in the semolina mixture, turning and pressing to coat each cutlet thoroughly. Place the breaded cutlets on a plate.
- Heat the butter and oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the breaded cutlets and cook until the underside is golden, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Flip the cutlets and place 3 sage leaves on top of each cutlet and top with 1 slice prosciutto and 1 slice provolone. Cook just until the underside is golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer to warm serving plates.
- Keep the pan over medium heat and carefully pour in the wine and squeeze in the juice from 1 lemon wedge. Simmer and reduce slightly until you have about 1/4 cup. Taste and, if desired, season with salt and pepper to taste. (Keep in mind the finished dish will be plenty salty from the cheese and prosciutto.)
- Pour the sauce around the cutlets, sprinkle with parsley if desired, and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing.
Veal Saltimbocca variationSubstitute 4 veal cutlets (about 4 ounces or 113 grams each) for the chicken cutlets.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
“Italian chicken cordon bleu!” my husband exclaimed as he eyed his dinner. This chicken saltimbocca is a pretty and tasty twist on fancy stuffed chicken breasts. Bread thin chicken cutlets—I used slightly smaller cutlets than the recipe specified because that was how the cutlets from the store came—and cook till golden on one side, flip, stack, and melt.
And then a hit of wine goes into the pan to make a tangy and deeply flavored sauce. (My wine was a very light and very dry rose. It worked fine.) A squeeze of bright lemon on top and a sprinkle of parsley, and you won’t know whether to take a picture or a bite. This served 2 generously although it could have served 3 with heftier sides (and less greedy eaters).
This chicken saltimbocca is quick enough to throw together for a weeknight and elegant and delicious enough for company. There’s so much flavor from the sauce, prosciutto, and cheese here that there’s no reason for chicken to be boring again!
I made the chicken version of this saltimbocca dish. It was very quick and easy to make. The payoff was great! The end result was so much bigger than the sum of its parts. It would really impress company. It was equally impressive for just the 2 of us.
I’ve never used semolina to make breading for meat. Mixed with the grated Romano, parsley, salt, and pepper, it made for a very usual coating. I bought regular semolina since the recipe did not specify what kind to use. The other semolina offered at the bulk store was “fine-grained” semolina. I may try that next time to see if there would be much of a difference in the final dish. I did really like the grated cheese in the coating.
I didn’t add any salt or pepper to the sauce. I tasted it and didn’t feel that it was needed. I used Sauvignon blanc for my wine. An added bonus was that we each ate only 1 cutlet the night that I made them, which left 2 for leftovers the next night. This would have fed 4 along with the sautéed summer squash, artichoke hearts, and fava beans we had on the side.
Originally published December 6, 2016