Saturday, May 10, 2014

Chicken Scaloppine - Nonna's Way

Brought to you by that shadowy figure known as Victoria Abbott (aka Mary Jane Maffini and Victoria Maffini)

Chicken Scaloppine alla Nonna!

In our family, MJ’s mother-in-law’s (and Victoria’s grandmother’s) cooking is legendary.  As soon of you may remember from previous posts, it was impossible to get a recipe from her.  We worry that some of these recipes will be lost forever.  So this year, we decided to try to duplicate her beloved chicken cutlets.  These are better known as Scaloppine al Limone in Italian cookbooks. But they were always cutlets to us. 

We think we came pretty close and we hope to serve them to her for Mother’s Day. How much fun will that be?   

What you need:


6 small boneless chicken breasts (or turkey or veal scaloppine)
3 tablespoon flour
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Juice and grated zest of one large lemon
2 – 3 tablespoons of dry white wine
Sea salt and freshly ground peppers
Lemon wedges or extra zest for garnish

How to do it:

If chicken pieces are large, cut in half.  If they are thick, slice them in half. Cover each piece of poultry or meat with a sheet of plastic wrap.  Pound with a mallet or a cup or a rolling pin until they are ¼ inch thick.  This is pretty easy.  If using a bottle, cup or mallet, be careful not to cut through the cutlet.


Coat with flour and shake off excess. 

Heat two tablespoon oil in the pan.  Sear the chicken quickly on both sides, then sprinkle with parsley, lemon zest and juice.   Add remaining oil if needed.

Lower the heat and cook for about five minutes.  Turn chicken over again. Season with S & P and cook for about five minutes until just cooked through.

Arrange on a warmed serving platter. 

Add the wine to the pan and scrape the bottom, mixing pan juices with wine.  Cook briefly.  

Pour juices over cutlets on serving platter. Garnish with lemon wedges or zest. 

Serve while piping hot.   And as Signora Panetone says in our book collector mysteries: Eat! Yes!


Victoria Abbott is the mother and daughter team of Mary Jane Maffini and Victoria Maffini.  They enjoy working Italian food into their book collector mysteries and reading the books from the Golden Age of Detection that the books draw on.   


Book three: the Wolfe Widow will be out September 2nd.

Pre-order it here!

Like Nero Wolfe, the characters in this series enjoy having a good meal prepared for them. 
Find out more at and

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We are thrilled that The Christie Curse and the Sayers Swindle are now available in audio!

We think Walter the Pug looks great on the cover. 
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  1. Yum! I make this without the wine but with extra lemon juice, and serve it over angelhair pasta.

    1. Lovely, Shel! Especially as the rest of that bottle of white is still sitting in the fridge. Angelhair pasta. Mmmm.



  2. This is my husband's number-one request dish for special occasions. Your Nonna made it the same way my Nonna taught me. Thank you for sharing this wonderful dish, and for the memories it evoked.

    ~ Cleo

    1. Those Nonnas sure do leave some great memories of special meals. I'm so glad you like it too.



  3. Yum, yum! I'm going to be sharing Veal Scallopine soon. Love this kind of dish. So flavorful. I love that you're saving memories!

    Daryl / Avery

    1. Thanks, Daryl. I think you could easily skip the few tablespoons of flour without any problem.

      Memories are worth saving, for sure.



  4. So simple and elegant. And, of course, delicious.

    1. Thanks, Libby. All the classic Italian stuff is about fresh ingredients and following the steps.



  5. Lemon chicken breast is without doubt one of my very favorites. I've never made them this way, though. Must give it a try. I'm sure Nonna will be delighted!


    1. Thanks, Krista. We will keep our fingers crossed. We know there's one more ingredient and will try to worm it out of her.

      These sure tasted good.