This Sautéed Chicken Cutlets with Brandy, Cream and Chive Pan Sauce is a low-fat version of a classic French chicken with pan sauce which is accomplished by adding a teaspoon of flour to the aromatics as a thickener, allowing no butter. For a final blast of flavor, you add in an acidic ingredient of lemon juice to the chicken cutlet pan sauce.
The chicken breasts will be easier to slice in half if you freeze them for 15 minutes. To slice in half, place one hand on top of the breast to secure it, hold a chef’s knife parallel to the cutting board, and slice through the middle of the breast horizontally.
Now I totally omitted the next step of pounding the slices down (which I labeled optional below). Not one of my favorite tasks to begin with, I felt I could just sauté the second side for a longer period of time, 2 minutes instead of 20 seconds. It worked perfectly! If I had pounded them down, it’s very doubtful 4 slices would have fit into my extra-large nonstick skillet all at once, increasing prep time.
Speaking of nonstick, parts of the chicken did stick to the pan before I flipped them over, but that was OK because all of those browned bits got incorporated into the pan sauce—oh and what a delicious pan sauce it was! I didn’t even use heavy cream (I wasn’t about to run out and buy some for just 2 tablespoons) so I inserted half-and-half instead. Of course using homemade chicken stock was an immediate flavor-booster too.
Served with a side of egg noodles, over which we drizzled some of that velvety sauce, steamed baby peas and a garnish of grape tomatoes and more chives, Hubby and I were very satisfied diners to say the least. And plenty of leftovers for lunches the next day…
Sautéed Chicken Cutlets with Brandy, Cream and Chive Pan Sauce
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 to 8 ounces each), tenderloins removed, trimmed of excess fat, halved horizontally, and pounded 1/4-inch thick (optional)
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium shallot, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup brandy, plus 1 additional tablespoon
- ¾ cup chicken broth, preferably homemade
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Season both sides of each cutlet with salt and pepper.
- Heat 2 teaspoons oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Place 4 cutlets in skillet and cook without moving them until browned, about 2 minutes.
- Flip cutlets and continue to cook until second sides are opaque, 15 to 20 seconds. (If you didn’t pound them down, cook the second side for another 2 minutes.) Transfer to large oven-safe plate.
- Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to now-empty skillet and repeat to cook remaining cutlets. Cover plate loosely with foil and transfer to oven to keep warm while making pan sauce.
- Add oil to empty skillet used to cook chicken and return pan to low heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.
- Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds.
- Add broth and 1/4 cup brandy (add broth before adding brandy); increase heat to medium-high and bring to simmer, scraping pan bottom to loosen browned bits. Simmer rapidly until reduced to 1/2 cup, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Stir in cream and any accumulated chicken juices; return to simmer and cook until thickened, 30 to 60 seconds.
- Off heat, whisk in mustard, chives, lemon juice, and remaining tablespoon brandy; season with salt and pepper. Spoon over cutlets and serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated