For the sauce:
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ½ tablespoons flour
  • Salt and white pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded fontina
  • 1 cup very finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, about 1 ounce
For the cutlets:
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 8 ounces each
  • 1 cup flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup very finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, about 1 ounce
  • ¼ cup fresh flat-leafed parsley (a small handful), finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped, or 1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme (a scant ½ palmful)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • Olive oil, for shallow-frying
  • 8 thin slices of prosciutto di Parma
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
For serving (optional):
  • Arugula or escarole dressed with lemon juice, EVOO, and salt
Serves: 4

In a saucepan, bring the milk and garlic to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Strain the hot milk into a medium bowl. In the same saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour; whisk until blended. Cook for a minute or two, whisking constantly. Whisk in the hot milk; season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Add the cheeses and stir until melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Cover the sauce and keep warm over low heat.

Using a sharp knife and starting from the longer, wider side of each chicken breast, cut horizontally about three-quarters of the way through. Open each piece like a book to make 4 large cutlets. Using a meat mallet, pound the cutlets between sheets of plastic wrap to flatten each piece into an 1/8- to ¼-inch-thick cutlet. In a shallow dish, season the flour with salt and pepper. In another shallow dish, season the eggs and beat until blended. In a third shallow dish, mix the breadcrumbs, cheese, herbs, lemon zest and granulated garlic.

In a large skillet, heat about 1/8 inch of olive oil over medium-high. Place a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet.

Coat the cutlets in the flour, then the eggs, and then the breadcrumbs, pressing so the crumbs adhere. Add 2 cutlets to the oil. Fry until deep golden, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer to the wire rack. Repeat with more oil and the remaining cutlets.

Divide the cutlets among plates. Top with the cheese sauce. Top each cutlet with 2 gently furled slices of prosciutto. Serve with the salad, if desired.