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Union Square Cafe Chicken Saltimbocca

1 3/4 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut and pounded into 12 thin cutlets (see Note)
12 large fresh sage leaves
6 paper-thin slices of prosciutto, cut in half crosswise
1/4 C. grated pecorino Romano cheese
1/3 C. all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1/2 C. plus 1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons, halved

Preheat oven to 200F. Line a serving plate with paper towels. Place 4 dinner plates in the oven to warm.

Top each chicken cutlet with 1 sage leaf and cover with a half slice of prosciutto. Lightly press the prosciutto to affix it to the chicken.

In a shallow mixing bowl, stir together the cheese and flour and set aside. In another small bowl, use a fork to beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle the cutlets with half the salt and pepper, then turn and sprinkle the other side with the rest.

Heat 1/2 C. olive oil in a medium or large heavy-bottomed skillet until almost smoking (the oil will have a shimmering look). Dredge 3 or 4 chicken cutlets in the flour mixture (depending on how many will fit into the pan), pressing the cheese/flour mixture into the cutlets well, to completely coat. Dip each floured cutlet into the egg mixture, lift out with your fingers, and allow the excess egg to drip off. Immediately place in the hot pan. Saute until golden brown on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked cutlets to the plate lined with paper towels, and place the plate in the oven to keep warm.

Repeat the last step until all the cutlets are cooked. Place 3 cutlets on each of the 4 pre-warmed plates and serve immediately, garnishing each plate with a lemon half.

Note: If you choose to prepare your own cutlets (rather than having the butcher do it), here's how: From each boneless, skinless chicken breast, detach the tenderloin (the loose, thin strip on the inside of the breast) and set it aside. Use a sharp knife to split the breast in half crosswise. Set aside the thinner, triangular end. With the knife, split the thicker piece in half, like opening a book, so that you have two pieces the same size as the original thick piece, except thinner. You now have four pieces from each breast (tenderloin, triangular end and twin pieces from the thick part). Place each piece of chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap and use a meat mallet or the bottom of a small, heavy skillet to carefully pound the chicken into very thin cutlets. To make this easier, sprinkle the top of each piece with a few drops of water before covering with plastic.

Serves 4.

    
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