Hailing from Rome, saltimbocca is thin cutlets, or scaloppini, combined with sage and prosciutto, sautéed in butter, and served with a white wine sauce. It’s traditionally made with veal, but even with chicken, the result is scrumptiously salty and savory, thanks to the prosciutto, but also sweet and delicate, thanks to the butter and the tender meat. Soft-yet-earthy sage ties it all together.
- Four 6-ounce chicken cutlets (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or more to taste
- 20 large fresh sage leaves, plus more leaves or sprigs for garnish (see notes)
- 4 thin slices prosciutto (about 2 ounces)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, divided
- 3/4 cup Chardonnay, or other dry white wine
Pound the cutlets to 1/2-inch thick (if they aren’t already) and arrange them on a work surface. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Arrange the sage on top, then the prosciutto on top of the sage, covering the sage and smoothing the prosciutto to adhere. Fold any excess prosciutto around the edges of the chicken.
Place the flour in a shallow bowl or pie pan and set aside.
In a very large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter. One at a time, dredge the cutlets in the flour, lightly coating both sides. Add the coated cutlets to the skillet prosciutto side up and cook until cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to plates or a platter and loosely cover to keep warm.
Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Add the wine, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet and stirring until reduced to a thin layer, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Taste and add more salt and/or pepper if you like.
Spoon the sauce over the cutlets, garnish with sage leaves or sprigs, and serve.
NOTES If your store doesn’t have chicken cutlets, buy two 12-ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts and create cutlets by cutting them horizontally, or parallel to your cutting board, halving their thickness, then pounding them, if necessary, to an even thickness. (Here’s a good explanation of how to do that.)
Fresh herbs are always my preference, but if you want to use dried, substitute 2 teaspoons of rubbed sage or 1 teaspoon of powdered or ground sage for the fresh sage leaves. For more about using fresh and dried herbs, including substituting one for the other, see this post.