July 30th, 2013
There are some things that you just need to know if you’re the family cook. How to stock your pantry with canned and jarred staples, and also with rice, grains and pasta. How to cook—and pre-cook—pasta. And, if you eat meat, how to quick sauté cutlets with a delicious pan sauce.
These skills don’t have to be expert, but knowing the basics will save tons of time. And, in the case of these quick sautéed cutlets, tons of dinners, too. Because this one method can churn out nearly a million dinners. That’s one family dinner per week for the rest of the time that your kids are at home, people. This is something worth knowing.
METHOD: Quick Sautéed Cutlets with Pan Sauce
This method can be used to make chicken marsala, chicken with a cilantro sauce, chicken with white wine and shallots, chicken with fresh tomatoes and tarragon, chicken with tomatoes, basil and capers, chicken with snow peas and shitake, so on and so forth.
- Wash chicken cutlets and pat dry. Trim excess fat (you can skip the trimming if you are in a rush; there shouldn’t be that much on cutlets).
- Pour flour (all purpose or gluten-free) into a wide, shallow bowl or rimmed baking sheet. Using your hands or a fork, season flour with salt, freshly ground pepper and any dry spices, if using.
- Dredge cutlets in flour, making sure to tap off excess.
- Heat butter and oil in a sauté pan (for 4 cutlets use 1 ½ tablespoons of each). Once the fat has melted and begins to foam, swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Add chicken and cook for 4 min on one side. Flip and cook for another 4 minutes on the other side. If you are cooking more than 4 cutlets or if the cutlets are crowded in your pan, you may need to do this in batches.
- Remove cutlets from pan and set aside. Add aromatics (e.g., onion, garlic, shallots) to pan and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add liquid (e.g., wine, lemon juice, broth, soy sauce) to pan (for 4 cutlets, you want a total 1-1 ½ cups of liquid).
- Scrape pan to get bits, then bring liquid to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer to reduce liquid by one-third.
- Add fresh herbs (e.g., cilantro, tarragon, oregano) and/or finishing ingredients (e.g., capers, olives, roasted red peppers) to pan . Swirl herbs into the sauce and take the pan off of the heat. Immediately add 3 tablespoons of butter and swirl some more to melt the butter into the sauce.
- Pour sauce over cooked cutlets and serve.
Have you made cutlets like this before? If so, I’d love to know what ingredients you throw in your pan sauce. If not, what’s the first pan sauce you plan on making?
*Note: While there is nothing in this that is unsafe for younger kids, I typically save meat dishes like this one for kids 10+ months who can manage small bites of meat. If you want, though, you can throw small pieces of your cutlets into a food processor with rice or any other carby or veggie side to make a puree for younger kids.