One of my family’s favorite weeknight dishes is chicken or pork cutlets with a simple pan sauce.
So many cooks finish the sauce with butter or cream to thicken it, but I’ve found that simply reducing the sauce is really all you need to do, making the dish so much healthier.
When I make chicken cutlets, I usually don’t pound them. I carefully slice the chicken breast or thigh meat horizontally to make a cutlet. I find that it is easier to make a cutlet if you slice the chicken when it is slightly frozen. Pork is a different story. I usually pound the pork because it has a firmer texture than chicken. Then I season with salt and pepper and lightly flour the cutlets on both sides with whole wheat flour before cooking them in a lightly oiled skillet.
The pan sauce is made in the same pan that you used to cook your cutlets so that you can take advantage of the flavorful brown bits in the bottom of the skillet. Last night my pan sauce had chicken broth, lemon juice, lemon zest and capers. A few weeks ago I made it with shallots, chicken broth, Dijon mustard and lemon juice. You could use wine as your liquid or even a mix of wine and broth. You could add garlic or Kalamata olives or orange segments. The options are endless and you are only limited by what you are craving that night. The idea is to start with about ¾ cup of liquid and reduce to about ¼ to ½ cup liquid. The flavor of the sauce really begins to come through as the sauce reduces.
And finally, round out your meal with a fresh steamed vegetable and a salad for a low calorie/low carb meal.