Chicken Cutlets: Florentine and Marmalade

Chicken Cutlets: Florentine and Marmalade

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Like many of you, chicken is a standby in our meal rotation. Lately, I’ve been using chicken cutlets instead of whole breast halves. Since we’re busy outside much of the day, I can count on cutlets to get a nice meal on the table without a lot of fuss.

With chicken cutlets, you get more bang for your buck, so to speak. These thinner, tender slices of meat are best sautéed quickly. And that’s just how the recipes I’m sharing are to be cooked. Fast and easy!

The Florentine chicken lends an Italian twist with the addition of spinach and Parmesan cheese. The marmalade chicken has a distinct citrusy flavor with a hint of heat from the red pepper flakes. I hope you try these family favorites, either for a family supper or for casual entertaining. I think you’ll like them as much as we do!

Chicken Cutlets With Orange Marmalade Sauce

This recipe serves two to three people, depending upon the size of the breast, and can easily be doubled.
Wine, with its bit of acidity, enhances and augments the sauce. Chicken broth will give a milder sauce.
I like to serve this with a side of rice, dolloped with some of the sauce.

INGREDIENTS

Season according to taste.

2 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, 6-8 oz. each

Salt and pepper

Flour for dredging

Olive oil

¾ to 1 cup white wine or chicken broth

3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 large cloves garlic (a heaping tablespoon)

1⁄8 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste (optional but good)

¼ cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed, undiluted Up to 1½ cups orange marmalade (start with about 1 cup)

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Make cutlets as described in the tip section. Pat each cutlet dry and season with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour and shake off excess.
2. Film a large nonstick skillet with olive oil, about one tablespoon or so.
3. Heat over medium-high, place chicken in skillet, and cook until golden brown and registers 160 degrees F, about three to five minutes per side.
4. Transfer chicken to plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
5. Pour wine in the skillet and cook until bubbly, stirring to bring brown bits up.
6. Add lemon juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, and half the orange juice. Bring to a boil and cook for three minutes.
7. Stir in ¾ cup marmalade and rest of orange juice. Cook until thickened to your liking. Taste and add more marmalade and seasonings if desired.
8. Serve chicken with sauce spooned on top.

Chicken Cutlets Florentine

This recipe serves two to three people, depending upon the size of the breast and is easily doubled.

INGREDIENTS

2 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, 6-8 oz. each Salt and pepper

Olive oil

6 oz./4 cups baby spinach or regular spinach, cut into largish pieces

1 small shallot, minced, 2 tablespoons or so 1 large clove garlic, minced

½ cup chicken broth

½ cup heavy cream

½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Lemon juice to taste

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Make cutlets as described in the tip section. Pat each cutlet dry and season with salt and pepper.
2. Film a large nonstick skillet with olive oil, about one tablespoon or so.
3. Heat over medium, then add spinach and salt to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about two minutes. Remove and set aside.
4. Add a bit more oil and heat over medium-high heat until oil shimmers. Place chicken in skillet and cook until golden brown and registers 160 degrees F, about three to five minutes per side.
5. Transfer chicken to plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
6. Reduce heat to medium, add shallot and garlic to skillet and cook just until fragrant, about half a minute.
7. Whisk in broth and cream, scraping up brown bits as you go. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced to about half or so. The sauce will be fairly thick at this point.
8. Remove from heat and stir in two tablespoons Parmesan and lemon juice to taste.
9. Transfer chicken to plates and pour in any accumulated juices into the sauce.
10. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste and stir spinach into sauce.
11. Top chicken with spinach and sauce and sprinkle on the rest of the Parmesan.

SUBBING IN THIGHS FOR BREASTS
Boneless, skinless thighs require just a bit of pounding out for even thickness.

TIP: 2 WAYS TO MAKE PERFECT CUTLETS
1. Pound chicken breast half gently between two sheets of plastic wrap or in a plastic bag, starting from center (the thickest part) until each piece
of chicken is about 1⁄4- to 1⁄2-inch thick all over. Depending upon size, you may want to cut the cutlet into two pieces.
2. Lay breast half flat. Carefully cut through breast horizontally into two pieces. If necessary, pound each out as described above to reach even thickness.

MAKING ROLLUPS?

Don’t cut all the way through the breast half. By leaving the end attached before pounding, you’ll have one nice, large piece for stuffing, etc.

WHAT’S A SHALLOT?

These are a member of the onion family, and to some folks, they taste like a cross between onion and garlic.

The nice thing about shallots is they don’t give bad breath after cooking, like onions and garlic do, and are easy to digest.

Shallot bulbs can be large or smaller, just like garlic. When you open a shallot bulb, often there’s more than one clove in there. But that’s where it gets tricky. Depending upon the size of cloves, you really have to go to taste when cooking with shallots.

Originally published in the June/July 2021 issue of Backyard Poultry and regularly vetted for accuracy.

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