Chicken cutlets can stretch your dollar in a delicious way

Ann Maloney

THE WASHINGTON POST – Sometimes stretching an ingredient – making it feed four instead of two – can be detrimental to a dish, but on rare occasions it can actually make it better. Case in point: Pan-fried chicken breasts.

The breast is not my favourite part of the bird – that would be the thighs – but when I find the cut on sale, I pick them up because they are versatile, filling and easily adaptable to different seasoning blends and cooking methods.

If I’ve got a good sauce, then the dusting of flour is all I want. Recently, I made a lemon-thyme sauce that was delicate and light-flavoured, with artichokes and just a touch of cream. I thought it would go beautifully with the thin, crisp chicken cutlets. And it did.

CHICKEN CUTLETS WITH ARTICHOKES, LEMON-THYME SAUCE

30 minutes

Four servings

This dish comes together quickly, especially if you can find thin chicken cutlets at your grocery store. The bit of cream brings the artichoke hearts and thyme together for a satisfying sauce.

Serve over a cooked grain, such as farro, and with a steamed green vegetable, such as broccoli.

Chicken cutlets with artichokes and lemon-thyme sauce. PHOTO: THE WASHINGTON POST

INGREDIENTS

For the chicken

Quarter cup all-purpose flour

Quarter teaspoon ground cumin

Quarter teaspoon onion powder

Quarter teaspoon dried thyme

Quarter teaspoon kosher salt

Half teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Four chicken cutlets

Two tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

For the sauce

Quarter cup heavy cream

Three teaspoons cornstarch

Three tablespoons fresh lemon juice

One teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

One cup no-sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed

One can artichoke hearts, drained

One tablespoon lightly chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Grated Parmesan, for serving

STEPS

In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, cumin, onion powder, thyme, salt and pepper.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.

Then, lightly coat the chicken in the seasoned flour.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until just shimmering.

Shake off any excess flour and lay the chicken cutlets flat in the hot pan, in batches if necessary, without crowding the pan.

Sear, flipping once halfway, until cooked through and just beginning to brown, six to eight minutes total.

If cooking the chicken in batches, add oil to the pan as necessary.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the cream, cornstarch, lemon juice and zest.

Transfer the chicken to a plate and loosely cover with the foil to keep warm.

Add the broth to the pan, raise the heat to high and bring to a boil, scraping any browned bits.

Continue to cook until reduced by a third, about two minutes.

Whisk in the cream mixture and cook, whisking until thickened, about one minute.

Add the artichokes and fresh thyme and cook about one more minute. If the sauce is too thick, add broth, one tablespoon at a time. Taste the sauce, and season with salt and pepper, as needed.

To serve, spoon the sauce over each chicken cutlet and garnish with additional fresh thyme leaves and Parmesan.

NUTRITION

Per serving: 276 calories, 30g protein, 18g carbohydrates, 9g fat, 4g saturated fat, 93mg cholesterol, 576mg sodium, 3g dietary fibre, 2g sugar