April 18, 2014

Chicken Scallopini with Saffron Cream Sauce

Saffron and pine nuts.  Two ingredients that I love but really have a hard time bringing myself to purchase without feeling guilty because of the sheer cost.  Oh, but there's nothing quite as delicious as a fresh batch of basil pesto with pine nuts slathered on a crispy cracker.  Try to imagine my joy and surprise as I unwrapped a pretty little bottle of saffron from my stocking last Christmas.  I sure landed myself a thoughtful husband!  

I decided to use some of my lovely saffron in a cream sauce and serve it over chicken and pasta.  The chicken is so tender and juicy.  Pour that dreamy, delicious saffron cream sauce on top and it's just over-the-top Ahh-mazing!  It's so easy, and it's perfect for a weeknight meal.  I also poured some of that velvety sauce over pasta and served it with steamed broccoli.  This is definitely one of my favorites!

Serves 4 - 6

  • 1 lb chicken cutlets 
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste 
  • 1/2 c Italian breadcrumb
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese 
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 large egg, beaten 
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil, or as needed for frying 

Saffron Cream Sauce: 
Adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 c dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 c chicken broth 
  • 1/2 c heavy cream 
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads 
  • Pinch cayenne pepper 
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • Salt, to taste.
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish 


Season the chicken cutlets on both sides with salt and pepper.  Combine the breadcrumb, Parmesan, and garlic powder in a shallow bowl.  Dip the chicken cutlets in the egg and then coat in the breadcrumb mixture.  

Heat the avocado oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  Add the chicken cutlets to the hot skillet. Cook on both sides until golden and cooked through.  Remove the chicken and place on a serving dish.  Cover with a tin foil tent to keep warm.  

Make the sauce.  Add the garlic to the hot skillet and cook for 1 minute.  Deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Continue to cook until the wine is nearly evaporated.

Pour in the chicken broth and saffron threads.  Bring to a simmer and reduce for 10 minutes.  Stir in the cream and pepper.  Season with salt, to taste.  Allow the sauce to cook for 1 minute.  Pour the sauce over the chicken.  Garnish with parsley.


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