Chicken Cutlets with Pan Sauce
and orzo / green beans
A quick pan sauce can add an easy, elegant touch to a simple weeknight meal. Sour cream gives the sauce in this recipe a rich texture and tangy flavor. A version of this recipe used turkey back in 2016.
Chicken Cutlets with Pan Sauce and Orzo:
- Pasta, uncooked orzo - 3/4 cup (sub any small pasta shape)
- Chives (opt) - 2 tsp , chopped
- Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless - 1 lb , sliced and pounded thin
- Flour, all-purpose - 1/3 cup
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
- Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp
- Stock, any type - 1 cup
- Lemon juice - 2 Tbsp
- Sour cream - 1/3 cup (sub plain or Greek yogurt)
Steamed Green Beans with Lemon and Almonds:
- Green beans - 1 lb , trimmed
- Butter - 2 Tbsp
- Lemons - 1 , zest of
- Almonds, sliced - 1/4 cup
- Pasta - Cook according to package directions. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Green beans - Trim green beans. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Chives (if using) - Chop chives. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
- Chicken - Halve and thin out to about 1/2” / 1.3 cm thickness. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Prep breading - Whisk together flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl.
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- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add oil. Working in batches if needed, quickly coat chicken in breading (shake off excess) and transfer chicken to heated oil.
- Sear chicken on both sides until golden brown and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes total. Set chicken aside and cover to keep warm.
- When all of the chicken is cooked, return pan to heat and add stock and lemon juice, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Simmer sauce until it reduces down to nearly the thickness of oil, 3 to 4 minutes. (Note: be patient with this step. Reducing the liquid significantly is what will prevent the sauce from "breaking" when you add the sour cream.)
- While pan sauce reduces, place green beans in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with a damp paper towel and microwave on high until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Toss green beans with butter and lemon zest. Season with some salt and pepper. Top with almonds.
- Return to pan sauce when it has reduced. Remove from heat and whisk in sour cream and chives. Season with some salt and pepper.
- If pasta was made ahead, reheat in the microwave.
- Serve chicken over orzo with pan sauce on top. Enjoy green beans on the side.