Chicken Cutlets with Dried Plums, Sage & Balsamic


By Cat, Feb 2018 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

Chicken cutlets are quick and easy recipes that make a great presentation. Instead of pounding the chicken breasts into cutlets, I prefer to slice the breasts crosswise, about ½ inch thick, then dust with flour. See my Preparing Chicken Cutlets page for more detail about both methods.

Sage and dried plums is a great Mediterranean flavor and texture combination with chicken.

See also: 1. Poultry menu; 2. Brining Chicken; 3. Homemade Chicken Broth; 4. Steamed Couscous or Saffron-Raisin Quinoa (as Couscous Substitute); 5. Braised Greens (About)

Chicken Cutlets with Dried Plums, Sage and Balsamic

This recipe is adapted from one on My Recipes blog (1). The original serves 4; I’ve adapted it to serve 2, and to use more healthful ingredients

Ingredients & Equipment

  • Prep:
  • 2 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, brined
  • 3 tsp chopped fresh sage, divided
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion (about ½ large) or 1 large/2 small leeks
  • ¼ tsp unrefined sea salt (only if you don’t brine the chicken)
  • freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • Cook:
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • ¼ cup dry white wine, such as vermouth
  • ¼ – ½ cup homemade chicken broth
  • 6 – 8 pitted dried plums, halved – or even more!
  • scant tsp balsamic vinegar
  • Equipment:
  • bowl for brining chicken
  • cast iron skillet


  1. Prep: Brine chicken breasts 30 – 60 minutes; rinse and pat dry, then prepare as cutlets (see Preparing Chicken Cutlets for details, including coating them lightly with unbleached white flour before proceeding with the recipe).
  2. While chicken is brining, chop the fresh sage, and halve the dried plums; set aside separately.
  3. Slice onion and/or leek thinly and set aside (if using leek, first slice once lengthwise to wash between the layers, then slice thinly cross-wise).
  4. Sprinkle brined and floured (optional) chicken with half of the chopped sage, freshly ground black pepper (to taste), plus salt (if you didn’t brine the chicken).
  5. Cook: Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.
  6. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil in pan. Add onion/leek and cook 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in wine and broth; bring to a boil. Add remaining sage and dried plums to pan; cook 4 minutes or until mixture thickens. Season with a pinch of freshly ground pepper, and balsamic vinegar.
  7. Add cooked cutlets back to skillet, and toss with the cooked plum mixture; serve.
  8. Serving suggestion: Serve with couscous or rice and braised green beans or kale. Or use my recipe for Saffron-Raisin Quinoa (as Couscous Substitute), but omit the raisins since the dish is made with dried plums.


2/11/18: Made as half recipe using one half-breast (brined and sliced into cutlets),  2 Tbsp coconut oil, ¼ sweet onion, 1 Tbsp sage, chopped, 4 dried plums, 2 Tbsp vermouth, ¼ cup broth, and 1 tsp balsamic. Needed a bit more water. Served with steamed wild rice, braised green beans and simmered beet. Result: Excellent! Nice combo of flavors and texture. This is a keeper.

4/12/19: Made as written (2 servings), using a 10 oz half-breast (instead of two 6 oz half-breasts), and I added chopped garlic with the sliced onion.  I used 1 tsp balsamic, but I think I could have used more. Also the dried plums were quite small and could have used more. Served with steamed wild rice and a large salad of greens, tomato and gorgonzola with basil balsamic dressing. Result: Delicious!

12/13/19: Used a 14-oz boneless, skinless breast so used full recipe as written, except: used 12 dried plums; about 2 Tbsp chopped and lightly packed fresh sage from my garden; ¼ cup dry vermouth; ¼ cup chicken stock plus ¼ cup water with a pinch of powdered vegetable broth; and 1½ tsp balsamic vinegar. Also used a scant cup of thinly sliced leek instead of onion, and 1 large clove garlic, sliced thinly. Needed to add more water, to have enough for all the chicken. Could have used more plums, too. Result: So delicious, and I loved the leeks in this dish more than onion.


  1. My Recipes blog:

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