Chef Folse's Chicken Scallopini with Saffron Cream Sauce and Purple Grits

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Yields: 4–6 Servings


Saffron is a spice native to the Middle East that has a slightly bitter, honey-like flavor and very pungent aroma. Coming from the dried stigmas of a flower, it takes 75,000 blossoms or 225,000 hand-picked stigmas to make a single pound, which explains why it is the world's most expensive spice. Because of its cost and intense flavor, very little saffron is required for culinary purposes and the key is to distribute it evenly throughout the dish being prepared.


1 pound chicken cutlets

Or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded into (1/4-inch) thick

1 tsp saffron threads

¾ cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup blue corn or yellow stone-ground grits, cooked

salt and black pepper to taste

granulated garlic to taste

¼ cup flour for dusting

2 tbsps olive oil

2 shallots, peeled and sliced

¼ cup minced green bell pepper

¼ cup minced red bell pepper

1 tbsp minced garlic

½ cup white wine

1½ cups chicken stock


Season chicken cutlets to taste using salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Lightly dust chicken cutlets with flour and set aside. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté chicken 2–3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer chicken to plattere and keep warm. Reduce heat to medium then add shallots, bell peppers and minced garlic. Cook 2 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Deglaze pan with white wine. Using a wooden spoon, scrape bits from bottom of the pan. Cook until the wine is almost evaporated. Add chicken stock and saffron. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add heavy whipping cream then season to taste using salt, pepper and granulated garlic, stirring to combine. Simmer 1 minute to blend flavors. Add chicken to sauce and cook 1–2 minutes or until heated thoroughly. Set aside and keep warm. Cook grits according to package instructions. To serve, place an equal portion of grits on each plate and top with chicken cutlet and saffron cream sauce.