Chicken Scaloppine

chickenscallopine.jpgItalian food isn't just all about pasta and tomato sauce. Much of it is simple and rustic home-style cooking, like simple sautes and slow braises. The recipes I like the most are both simple and elegant, such as scaloppine, which involves cooking thin pieces of meat. All that the word scaloppine means is thin piece of meat. Veal or chicken are commonly used in classic recipes. The meat is breaded, fried, and then served in a sauce, such as a piccata, which features white wine, capers, and lemon.

What's great about a recipe like scaloppine is that it's great for dinner for two or a large family gathering. It's a perfect dish for a quick weeknight meal because it's fast and easy. I update the classic recipe by replacing the breading with just Wondra flour. The low-protein flour creates a brown exterior that's light and just thin enough so as not to get soggy. Plus I don't add the chicken to the sauce. This way the coating stays crisp as long as possible. Simply serve the sauce spooned over the chicken and enjoy it right away.

Chicken Scaloppine

olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 cup dry white wine
4 thin lemon slices
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup Wondra flour
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 chicken breasts (tenderloins removed), pounded 1/2-inch thin
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Warm 1 tablespoon oil in a saute pan set over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant but not brown, about 3 minutes. Pour in wine. Add lemon slices. Raise heat and simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Pour in stock and simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Off from heat, stir in butter until emulsified.

Meanwhile, season flour with salt and pepper. Dust chicken with flour.

Warm a thin layer of oil in a nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side until cooked through and no longer pink. Plate chicken and spoon over with sauce and lemon slices. Garnish with parsley.


Joseph Erdos is a New York–based writer and editor, butabove all a gastronomer and oenophile. He shares his passion for foodon his blog, Gastronomer's Guide , which features unique recipes and restaurant reviews among many other musings on the all-encompassing topic of food.