Yes, please: Chicken cutlets with crispy prosciutto and sage leaves  

Give me a breaded chicken cutlet and I’m a happy woman. I’m not too particular, cuisine-wise, about my cutlet cravings – I’ll dive into a plate of chicken schnitzel, chicken katsu, pollo empanizado or chicken-fried chicken with equal amounts of gusto.

The following recipe takes the perfection that is golden, crispy, thin-pounded chicken breast to a deeper level, thanks to the addition of crispy prosciutto and sage leaves. It comes to us from Chef Alex Guarnaschelli’s months-old book, “The Home Cook” (Clarkson Potter, $35). The Food Network star and executive chef (Butter, New York) has blended two of her favorite recipes (chicken cutlets and saltimbocca) to create this dish. And the humble cutlet applauds in gratitude. 



The following recipe and author’s note is reprinted from chef Alex Guarnaschelli’s book, “The Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart,” with permission of its publisher, Clarkson Potter.  

Chicken Cutlets with Prosciutto and Sage 

“This is an excuse for me to combine two of my favorite dishes: chicken cutlets and saltimbocca. Piney sage leaves and salty prosciutto give the cutlets a real boost of energy and flavor. I like to use finely ground bread crumbs and bread the cutlets twice. I simply put store-bought crumbs into the food processor to grind them into a finer texture. I love biting through that added layer of breading and then tasting the lemon and red wine vinegar in one moment and the prosciutto and sage in the other. It’s like bright and vibrant combined with salty and earthy.” – Alex Guarnaschelli 

Serves 2 to 4 


  • 4 thin skinless chicken cutlets (about 4 ounces each) 
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano 
  • Kosher salt 
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten 
  • 3 cups plain finely ground dried bread crumbs 
  • 3⁄4 cup canola oil 
  • 8 slices prosciutto (31⁄2 to 4 ounces), torn into bite-size pieces 
  • 16 to 24 fresh sage leaves 
  • 2 large garlic cloves, grated 
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 

Make the dish 

  1. Prepare the cutlets: Season both sides of the chicken cutlets with the oregano and with salt to taste. Put the eggs in a medium shallow bowl and the bread crumbs in another. Dip each piece of chicken in the egg (on both sides) and then in the bread crumbs, shaking off any excess. Arrange the cutlets on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes, reserving the bowls of eggs and crumbs. Repeat the breading process with the cutlets. Refrigerate again. 
  2. Cook the prosciutto and the sage: In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and add half of the prosciutto pieces and cook over low heat until crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the prosciutto to a plate lined with a kitchen towel. Add another tablespoon of the canola oil and repeat with the remaining prosciutto. Add the sage leaves to the skillet and cook until they turn pale in color and become crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer them to the towel-lined plate and season with salt. Off the heat, stir the garlic into the cooking oil and season it with salt to taste. Allow the garlic to simmer in the warm oil for 1 to 2 minutes to cook off the raw flavor, and then transfer the garlic and oil to a medium bowl. 
  3. Cook the chicken cutlets: Heat the remaining canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it starts to smoke lightly, add the chicken cutlets in a single layer and cook on their first side until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn them over onto the other side and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the cutlets to a kitchen towel to drain. Note: It’s better to cook these in batches than to overcrowd the pan. 
  4. Make the vinaigrette and finish the dish: In the bowl containing the reserved garlic and oil, whisk together the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange the cutlets on a serving platter and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Top with the sage leaves and prosciutto.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Food

At Passover, eggs are a symbol and a staple
At Passover, eggs are a symbol and a staple

After many years of cooking for Passover, I know there are two must-have ingredients: the ever- present matzoh, in various forms, and eggs. Without eggs, our ceremonial meal would be incomplete - and we couldn't produce an edible spongecake. Symbolically, they represent mourning, rebirth and the continuity of life, all part of this major Jewish holiday...
Blended Scotch is still searching for its place in the modern bar
Blended Scotch is still searching for its place in the modern bar

My parents did not drink much, but they maintained a full liquor cabinet, either out of a sense of hospitality or because they received a lot of nice gifts. Not surprisingly, the array of spirits fascinated me. I remember the red-velvet-covered bottle of cherry heering, the coffee-scented Kahlua and the herbal Dubonnet that my father liked. But what...
When smoke gets in your soup: Warming flavors for cold weather  
When smoke gets in your soup: Warming flavors for cold weather  

In cold weather, I perk up simple suppers with a bit of smoke — that delicious flavor addition we associate with the grilling days of summer. I would happily enjoy smoked or grilled foods every day. Ditto for homemade soup. Melding the two together proves a match. Here are two soups with subtle smoke flavors from smoked proteins, such as ham...
Vanilla is complex, even smoky, and may be a baker’s best friend
Vanilla is complex, even smoky, and may be a baker’s best friend

Somewhere along the line, vanilla became synonymous with bland or ordinary. Which is just plain wrong. Blame it on a world of Chubby Hubby ice cream and Candy Cane Oreos, where “more” sounds like “better,” where fake flavors bolster profits. It’s true that vanilla’s aroma, flowery and fragrant, usually gets top billing...
The other kind of home plate
The other kind of home plate

Cooks scurried in and out of the kitchen carrying containers of pork ribs, stewed beef, and rice and beans. Behind a display case of Latin American pastries, a worker hurried through coffee orders. The rapid-fire banter of Caribbean Spanish filled the air. It was the lunchtime rush at the cafeteria of the Bravo Supermarket here, but one loyal customer...
More Stories