Chicken scallopini sounds complicated, but it is one of the quickest, easiest Italian dishes to make when you are just home from work and wondering what to make for dinner. It is made in the same way as veal scallopini, the classic Italian dish, but for those who refuse to eat veal, this is a happy and delicious alternative.
In restaurants, this dish is almost invariably made with Marsala wine. I offer white wine as an alternative to the water, but I find Marsala too sweet; however, the choice of wine or water is yours and believe me when I say that either with or without wine, your family or guests will think this lovely dish is delicious and memorable.
I use organic chicken (my first choice) or Perdue chicken because Perdue (at least in their ads) seems to care about raising chicken in a more humane and steroid/hormone free environment.
After you assemble all the ingredients, chop the mushrooms, pound the cutlets, flour the cutlets, and juice the lemons, the actual cooking goes very quickly. You might even pound the cutlets and chop the mushrooms the night before and keep them in two large plastic bags in the refrigerator. Then you are two important steps closer to getting your dinner made in 30 minutes and finished cooking in 15 minutes.
1 lb thin organic chicken cutlets
2 to 4 tbsp butter
2 to 4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup of all purpose flour, placed in a large zip-lock plastic bag
1/2 tsp seasoned salt, 1/2 tsp salt. 1/2 tsp gound pepper, mixed into flour
1/2 lb to 1 lb white button mushrooms, sliced
3 peeled cloves of garlic, sliced
2 medium lemons, juiced and pits removed
1/2 to 1 cup of water or white wine
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Place chicken cutlets on a cutting board covered tightly with plastic wrap or waxed paper. Cover them with another piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper and with a wooden mallet, pound the cutlets to a thickness of 1/8 th inch.
Remove from the cutting board and place them into a large plastic bag containing the seasoned flour. Close the bag and shake until all the chicken cutlets are coated with a thin layer of flour. Remove each cutlet from the plastic bag, shake off the excess flour, and place on a plate until you are ready to sauté them.
Wash off the cutting board or use a different one. Wash the dirt off the white mushrooms and dry them well. On the cutting board, slice them in half and then into quarters. Set aside.
Take out an 8 ” skillet and melt two tbsp of butter with 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. When the butter is bubbling throw in the chopped mushrooms and stir them around until they are coated with the butter and oil. Sprinkle them lightly with sea salt. Continue to cook them over medium high heat until they cook down and become browned and look done. Turn off the heat and set them aside.
In a 9″ or 10″ non-stick skillet, over medium high heat, place another 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of olive oil. When the butter is foaming, throw in the garlic. Keep stirring the garlic making sure the butter and oil become flavored with it. Let the garlic become golden, but not get too brown or God forbid, burn! Take out the garlic. Add the floured chicken cutlet pieces 4 at a time. Brown them on one side (3 to 4 minutes) and then turn them and brown the other side. Remove them from the pan and place them on a plate. Finish browning the cutlets in batches of 4 at a time.
When all the cultlets have been browned and are on the plate, cut the two lemons in two and squeeze the juice into a tea strainer over a small bowl and set aside. Fill a 1/2 to 1 cup measure with water or white wine.
Turn the heat back on in the skillet where you browned the cutlets, and when the juices left in the pan are bubbling, add the water or wine, and lemon juice to the pan.
Add 2 tbsp of butter, the mushrooms and the garlic and bring the sauce to a boil. Stir the pan and add in the chicken cutlets. Season with salt and pepper and check the seasoning of the sauce.
You may want to add more butter, more water, or more lemon juice depending on how it tastes to you. My mom added an entire half a stick of butter and a cup of water, but she didn’t have a clue about fat content. I am trying to keep the wonderful flavor, and still reduce the fat, but if you want more butter, who am I to say.
When sauce returns to a boil, cover the pan and turn down the heat to a simmer. Simmer the chicken for 15 minutes. Remove the cover, stir the sauce which has now thickened nicely, turn off the heat and serve. If not serving asap, just keep the cover on and let it sit on a back burner for 15 minutes or so.