Scaling down a chicken cutlet and pan sauce recipe

Joined Dec 8, 2015
I'm currently thinking of trying a chicken cutlet recipe along with a pan sauce.  Only problem: it yields four servings, and I'm a single guy who doesn't want to eat 4 identical dinners 4 nights in a row/img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif

I'm not very experienced with scaling down recipes: basically I'd like to know if I could a) only cook half the amount of chicken and still make the same amount of pan sauce (and just re-heat the pan sauce in a sauce pot each night -- some extra would be left over) or b) only cook half the amount of chicken and only cook half the amount of the pan sauce.

Would either of those scenarios work for the recipes below?  Would cooking only half the chicken not produce enough fond and chicken juices for a full batch of pan sauce, so I'd have to scale down the pan sauce by 1/2, as in scenario b?  Thanks in advance!

Sauteed Chicken Cutlets:

-4 (6-8 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 8 chicken cutlets

-1/4 cup all-purpose flour (for dredging chicken)

-1 teaspoon salt (added to flour for dredging chicken)

-1/2 teaspoon pepper (added to flour for dredging chicken)

-2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Lemon-Caper Pan Sauce

-2 teaspoons vegetable oil

-1 shallot, minced

-1 teaspoon all-purpose flour

-3/4 cup chicken broth

-1 tablespoon capers

-1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

-1 tablespoon unsalted butter, chilled

-2 teaspoons lemon juice

Heat oil in now-empty skillet over low heat until shimmering.  Add shallot and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes.  Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.  Slowly whisk in broth, scraping up any browned bits.  Bring to simmer and cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in any accumulated chicken juices, return to simmer and cook for 30 seconds.  Off heat, whisk in capers, parsley, butter and lemon juice. 
Joined Feb 8, 2009
You would be better off making the chicken when you want to eat it. The pan sauce doesn't really hold well. Chicken Piccata is the best right out of the pan. I would use the same amount of sauce for 8 cutlets. You never can have enough pan sauce......
Joined Sep 8, 2015
Recipes like this are easily scalable up or down and very forgiving.  After you've done it a time or two you can start to experiment and adjust it to your tastes.  Have fun and welcome to the forums.
Joined Nov 22, 2015
I agree with chef bill, the fond from 2 vs. 4 cutlets won't make a huge difference. I think your best option is to make the dish twice in a week using slightly less ingredient amounts. On the second go you can add or subtract other ingredients to your taste, although all that comes to mind for me is parmesan and cayenne and/or paprika added to the dredge, possibly a very light egg wash... uh oh craving italian food @ 8 in the morning, not good lol
Joined Dec 18, 2010
I was once a single guy so I can relate to your dilemma.  From my vast memory of knowledge I can assure you that if you divide that recipe in half you will get a single serving.  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif
Joined Dec 8, 2015
Thanks for the fast feedback everyone!  I honestly think the easiest thing to do is what Chef Billy suggested.  That means I'll be making 2 cutlets each night (a single serving) and making the full amount of pan sauce (8 cutlets' worth).  Hopefully there will be enough fond and chicken juice to enrich the sauce, and I'll just be left with plenty of extra sauce, which isn't a bad thing!

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