Chicken Saltimbocca is a pan-fried chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto and fresh sage with a flavorful pan sauce. Each bite has a bit of crispy prosciutto, moist chicken, and the scent of earthy sage dripping in a buttery rich Marsala sauce.
Some tips for making Chicken Saltimbocca are 1) to turn the chicken breasts into even-sized bundles for even cooking, and 2) adding butter, shallots and dry Marsala wine to the pan sauce. The thickness of the chicken breast is personal preference. You can pound it thin or leave it a little thicker as I did in this batch. This recipe would work great with veal, pork or even fish, adjusting for cook times.
Here is the step by step guide:
Trim the excess fat from a fresh chicken breast.
Cut the chicken breast in half horizontally.
Fold the thin ends in to create an even-sized bundle of meat if needed. This picture shows several ways it could be done.
Place a slice of prosciutto on each cutlet, folding if necessary to fit the size of the cutlet.
Lay down a whole sage leaf. Gently press the sage and prosciutto into the cutlet to help it adhere for easier handling.
Dust the cutlet package with flour and saute in a hot pan with butter and olive oil on both sides until crispy and 80% cooked. Remove to a warm plate and make a pan sauce with wine and butter. I used Marsala wine in this version. Return the cutlets to the pan with the sauce to finish cooking the chicken and reduce the sauce.
Serve immediately with lots of extra Marsala sauce. A side of traditional polenta or a crispy potatoes would be a great accompaniment. This dish is best consumed right away. I have found that reheating overcooks the chicken.
- 2 large chicken breasts skinless and boneless
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper or to taste
- ½ cup flour
- 4 slices prosciutto
- 4 large fresh sage leaves
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 4 shallots sliced
- ½ teaspoon salt if needed
- 1 cup dry Marsala wine
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- ¼ cup Italian parsley minced (or substitute minced sage)
Trim any excess fat from chicken breasts. Place your palm on top of the chicken breast to gently hold it in place, and with a sharp, long knife, slice the breast in half horizontally starting at the thick end. Repeat with the remaining breast. You will end up with 4 breasts about ½ inch thick at the thick end. The chicken breasts may be different sizes depending on the breast itself and how you cut it. If one end is too thin, you can tuck it under the prosciutto to create an even thickness for cooking. If the breast half is too thick, then gently pound it with a mallet to your desired thickness. Season with pepper.
Place 1 slice of prosciutto over one breast, folding if necessary. Tuck/press the thin end of the chicken under the proscuitto creating an even bundle if needed. Be sure the proscuitto cover the breasts and does not hang over. Place one sage leaf on top of the proscuitto. Place a layer of plastic wrap over the chicken and lightly press the sage and prosciutto into the chicken so it adheres for cooking. Carefully dredge each breast on both sides in flour.
In a large saute pan, heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat. When the pan is very hot, place the chicken breasts, prosciutto-side down, and cook until caramelized and the chicken starts to turn white, about 3-5 minutes. Carefully turn over the chicken and cook another 1-2 minutes. The chicken should be approximately 80% done. Remove the chicken to a plate. If needed, saute the chicken in two batches.
To make the pan sauce, add 1 tablespoon butter and shallots to the hot pan. Cook until the butter just starts to brown. Remove the pan from the flame and add the Marsala wine. Return the pan to heat, add the chicken stock and cook over medium high heat for 1 -2 minutes until the alcohol has cooked out. When the sauce is slightly reduced, add the chicken breasts, prosciutto-side up, to the sauce, and continue cooking until the sauce is greatly reduced and the chicken is warmed through. Transfer the chicken breasts to a warm plate.
Swirl the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter into the sauce in the pan, add the parsley (or minced sage) and mix. Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper if needed. Pour the hot sauce over the Saltimbocca.
Note: the prosciutto, salted butter and chicken stock in the recipe should be enough salt for the recipe.