Tonight I made Petti di Pollo alla Salvia (Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Fresh Sage). This is from Trattoria, one of my favorite cookbooks. It is a meal that I have not made in a long time. It's funny because after I first made it the first time I swore I would make it again and again. I am not big on repeating recipes because there are so many good ones out there still to discover. But this was one of the first "impressive" dinners I had ever made. Up until that point I had made a lot of spaghetti and broiled alot of meat. Accomplishing the recipe brought me alot of joy and pride. The first time it came out perfect. The second time I burned the sage leaves and the third time something was missing. So then I tired of it.
Now it is about twelve years since that last attempt and I am enjoying it again. It feels good to pull out a recipe from the past every now and then. I am as amazed as I was back then. The ingredients are so simple, but the chicken turns out with an amazing flavor. It's one of those things you can't believe that you made yourself. Sage is a gorgeous herb and it smells so wonderful when it is fresh. But while cooking it with the chicken it crisps up just a little bit. You can't believe how wonderful it tastes. I realize that even though the ingredients are simple, you should take your time making this. Don't cook it with too much heat because you may burn the butter or sage. Watch the chicken until it browns but do not overcook.
I hope you all try this one! Look for the roundup of Weekend Herb Blogging at Kalyn's Kitchen hosted this week by Kalyn herself.
Marinate the chicken with the lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of the oil and the sage leaves. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat drive. Strain the marinade into a bowl and remove the sage leaves, reserving them.
Melt the butter and 2 remaining tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over moderately high heat until hot and bubbly. Add chicken and cook until one side is browned, about 5 minutes. Turn breasts and season the cooked side generously with salt and pepper. Tuck the sage leaves around the chicken and cook until the chicken is browned on the bottom and just white throughout, about 5 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to scorch the sage.
When done, place the chicken on a cutting board and season the bottom side with salt and pepper. Slice the chicken breasts on the diagonal into thick slices. Place them on a serving platter with the sage leaves placed over the chicken. Cover loosely with foil.
Discard the fat from the skillet and heat it over moderately high heat. Add the reserved marinade and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. The sauce will boil almost immediately. As soon as it reduces to a brown glaze (less than one minute), pour the sauce over the chicken. Garnish with lemon halves and serve immediately.