Chicken Saltimbocca

I had a good friend from high school (@ryanstewart) over for dinner last week and I wanted to make something from the America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook. It was also a work night so I didn’t have a lot of time to toil over a hot oven.

I had honestly never heard of this dish, chicken saltimbocca, before I read about it in the cookbook, but it looked perfect for my meal:

The idea behind the dish is that you have a nice chicken cutlet that is lightly floured. On top of that cutlet you have a slice of good prosciutto that has been seared onto the cutlet so they become one. The prosciutto forms a crispy layer of awesome on top of the chicken and the whole thing is flavored with some fresh sage.

I served mine with sauteed mushrooms and wilted kale.

Chicken Saltimbocca

Just a moment please...

Serves 4.
Prep Time
Total Time

The classic Italian chicken saltimbocca dish made at home! It’s easier than it looks.


4 chicken cutlets, pounded evenly (obviously you want 1 cutlet per person so adjust accordingly)
Sliced Prosciutto
1 Cup Flour
1 Tablespoon fresh sage, diced, plus whole sage leaves as garnish
Salt and Pepper
3 Tablespoons olive oil for cooking

White wine reduction:

2/3 Cup white wine
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
4 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons chopped parsley
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Helpful Equipment

cast iron skillet


1) If you are starting with whole chicken breasts, cut them in half horizontally, then pound them out until they are an even thickness. One breast will make two cutlets.

2) Dry off cutlets well with a paper towel.

3) Dredge cutlets in flour and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle diced sage on top of each cutlet.

4) Press one large piece of prosciutto onto each cutlet over the sage. Press down on it so the prosciutto sticks to the cutlet.

5) Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add cutlets, prosciutto side down first. Cook for 4-5 minutes on that side and flip. The prosciutto should be browned and adhered to the chicken.

6) Cook on the second side until the chicken is cooked through. Once cooked, you can transfer the chicken to a warm oven to keep warm while you finish dinner.

7) Turn heat down to medium for your skillet that you cooked the chicken in. Add white wine and lemon juice and use the liquid to scrape up any bits stuck to the pan.

8) Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes and then stir in butter, one tablespoon at a time. Add chopped parsley right at the end.

9) Serve chicken drizzled with sauce. Serve with any veggies that you want.

There is a lot that can go wrong with this meal. You need to make sure your chicken is an even thickness and that you don’t over flour and that you don’t have too much prosciutto…etc. Because I was in a rush for this recipe, I bought the cutlets already made, however, I usually make them myself.

If you want to make your cutlets, get a chicken breast, slice it in half horizontally, and then pound it out using something heavy until it is an even thickness. One breast makes two cutlets. Or you could buy them already made, but they cost more.

Very important: Dry off your cutlets with a paper towel. You don’t want a lot of extra moisture on them or you will get a thicker layer of flour. We aren’t making fried chicken tonight. We are going for a thin dusting of flour.

Dredge your cutlets through the flour, hit them with some salt and pepper and then sprinkle that diced fresh sage on top. This will infuse that sage flavor with each bite.

At this point I was skeptical of the recipe.

At this point I was skeptical of the recipe.

Next, get your prosciutto and lay one slice on top of each cutlet on the same side that you sprinkled the sage. Make sure to get sliced prosciutto and not shaved prosciutto. That will be too thin. Try to trim off any pieces that hang over. And don’t use more than one slice. This stuff is plenty flavorful.

Press down on it so it sticks to the floured cutlet.

It's times like these that make me want to move to Italy. Seriously.

It’s times like these that make me want to move to Italy. Seriously.

Now heat up the oil in your pan to medium-high heat. If you are trying to impress, get your whole sage leaves and toss them in the oil for literally 10 seconds. They will fry up quickly and get a bit crunchy. Remove them quickly though.

Next, was the part I was really worried about, but I had faith in the cookbook. It said to cook the cutlets prosciutto side down first. This gave me some concern.

I was really worried that the prosciutto would stick to the pan and not the chicken, but I think that little layer of flour between the two worked as a perfect binder. About 4-5 minutes on one side and then flip it over and you should see:

After a successful flip.

After a successful flip.

I was no longer stressed about the recipe at this point. But I did need to get my ingredients ready for the very simple sauce.

Ingredients for a light sauce.

Ingredients for a light sauce.

As soon as your chicken is done (4-5 minutes per side should do it), transfer them to a warm oven (200 degrees). The cooking is done, we are just keeping them warm.

With your pan still on medium heat, pour in your white wine and lemon juice. Try to scrape up as much of the particles of food as possible. That stuff is all flavor.

White wine reducing.

White wine reducing.

Let this simmer for about 4 minutes and then stir in your butter one tablespoon at a time. After simmering for a few more minutes you should have a very flavorful light sauce. Add your chopped parsley right at the end.

I drizzled my sauce over the chicken saltimbocca and then topped it with the fried sage just for some WOW factor. It also happens to be delicious.

Some good plating eh?

Some good plating eh?

This meal is one of those rare dishes that can really impress, but is actually pretty straightforward (and quick) to make if you have the right instructions. I think I was able to get it right on the first try and I bet you can too.

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17 comments on “Chicken Saltimbocca

  1. Yum – a variation on the one with veal. I love the name of this dish, which as I remember translates roughly as "leap into the mouth."

    And by the way, Nick, do you also work at a "standard" 9 to 5 job? And sleep too?

  2. The white wine reduction is actually what's grabbing me here. Reminiscent of spring with the lemon and bright parsley flavors. I'm with Jean — love the name of this dish.

  3. Hi Nick,

    Where do you buy your prosciutto? Do you have any brand(s) that you recommend? I am almost always disappointed with the taste when I buy it at the grocery store, even from the deli counter at Whole Foods. I don't always have time to make it down to the wonderful Italian Store (that is actually the name of the store), but I suppose that is the best place to go.


  4. Hi Nick,

    I like the simplicity in which you narrate the process, especially the important bits like the thickness of the chicken cutlet, over flouring or too much prosciutto could mess the dish.

    A comment from @ryanstewart would have added "THE WOW FACTOR".


  5. You're fast becoming my 1st 'go-to' site for meal inspiration. This chicken recipe looks like such a winner, can't wait to make it.

    It wasn't very long ago that I was burned out on chicken. It was the same old – same old every time, so I pretty much took it off the menu. Thanks to sites like yours, chicken is making quite a comeback in my house. You're pictures hook me & the recipes real me in. I've never been disappointed in the recipes I've tried from your site. That's more than I can say from the vast library of cookbooks on my shelves. Thanks for sharing! ;o}

  6. I've got to say, I was pretty impressed. Not only was I surprised that Nick could cook, but the chicken was awesome. My wife is a vegetarian and so I haven't had home cooked meat in a long time and this was a huge treat.

    He also got me excited about doing some cooking myself, so I owe him big time :).

    Thank again for dinner, Nick!


  7. Thanks for the comments and kind words everyone!

    @Sara I don't have a go to place for prosciutto unfortunately. For this recipe I used prosciutto di parma which is pretty good I think. I need to find a good deli though in DC.

  8. I LOVE Chicken Saltimbocca. I just had it this weekend and it was a fabulous way to start my evening. For some reason, I thought there was garlic in it? Your prosciutto looks fabulous.
    Good stuff.

  9. That's a great recipe! I've got to try the white wine and lemon. I usually use a cup of Marsala wine (works GREAT with veal or tenderloin) and while reducing the stock, I add a few thin (almost shaved) slices of Vidalia onion.

    Rich, a little crushed fresh garlic is a good addition, but don't use too much. The Proschuito has a strong, salty flavor, and combined with the garlic it could overpower the chicken. Crush the garlic then roast it for 15 minutes. One clove will suffice.

    Linguini al-dente is a perfect base for any saltimbocca dish.

    Thanks again for the variation Nick! This will make a nice Easter Sunday special!

    Buon Appetito!

  10. I was wondering, since I do NOT like sage, what would you suggest to use on the chicken instead of it? To me, sage tastes like mould…ugh!!…at least in dressings.

  11. @Debra – I had the same thought when I made my own version of this recipe a while back. I use basil and it makes the saltimbocca smell and taste wonderful!

  12. thank you for posting this recipe! I watch Americas Test Kitchen and did this recipe as I watched the show ….. and its absolutely delicious and super easy! So I wanted to do it again and went to get the recipe online and I couldn't believe you have to join the webiste to get it! Ridiculous! So it was nice to get via you! thanks again!

    and you are so right! its a super impressive dish but dead simple!

  13. Made this with a friend tonight and we just loved it! So simple, so flavorful and gourmet tasting. I think anyone would love this. I had watched the America's test Kitchen episode this morning and just had to make it. Your pictures and steps looked exactly as mine did. I did make one addition. I used a little packet of trader joe's chicken base in the sauce and I used white vermouth instead of the white wine. I left out the parsley because I forgot it. I used prosciutto di parma from Trader Joe's. It was the only true Italian brand, the others were domestic and not nearly as flavorful. Great recipe, already sending to a friend!

  14. I made this tonight and it came out great! I normally don't like cooked prosciutto but in this recipe it's great! I did use dried sage instead of fresh (don't have a heart attack!) and it was still great! The fresh sage was just too expensive. Thanks for posting this and I love all the detailed pictures!

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