In Italian they call it a batticarne. Something to batter beef, pork, veal, chicken…cutlet, medallion, or scallopine. I have a friend who loved mine. When she went to Italy she was determined to get one. She came home with one 10 times the size. That’s some weighty batticarne! She and her husband carried it on the plane in their carry-on luggage, through the airport for plane changes, and home. She loves it. It does the trick. But then she longed for a smaller one. Like mine. She found it on Hillsboro Road, right in the neighborhood so to speak, at Davis Cookware. (Yes, that place has EVERYTHING!)
I got mine many years ago (probably 20 or more years ago) at a shop in Manhattan’s Little Italy (Mulberry Street). At the time I was more fascinated with the box. The box totally charmed me.
What was inside I rarely used until just a few years ago. The littler “pounder” (also charming) helps in the kitchen with humble friendliness. All you need is heavy flick of your wrist. I’ve kept the box altho it is starting to fall apart. Every time I use the batticarne, I wash it, put it back in the box, and back in its special spot in my cabinet.
Some people use a pounder that has nasty teeth. I like the smooth flat surface of this one. It doesn’t tear up the meat.
I use the pounder mostly for this simple chicken dish, (which can have infinite variations)…
I start with a boneless, skinless 1/2 chicken breast. I like to cut my own cutlets. With a sharp knife I just (width-wise) (and at a 45-degree angle) slice slices from the breast about a 1/4-inch thick. You get about 6 slices.
I roll out a long piece of plastic wrap and lay it on the counter. I space out the chicken pieces on the plastic and cover it with another piece of plastic wrap…same size.
Then I pound the meat with the little batticarne. Almost straight down onto the meat slice–with some force but not crazy-force. The meat easily flattens thinner. And each piece becomes a little bigger.
Try it also with pork cutlets, veal cutlets, or turkey cutlets.
Put some flour for dredging on a plate or in a shallow bowl. Season it with salt & pepper. Heat a sauté pan with some olive oil. When hot, dredge the cutlets in the flour, shaking off excess.
Sauté cutlets for 2-3 minutes per side till a bit golden. Turn them over and cook another minute or two till golden. When the cutlets are done, remove them to a serving plate.
Add minced shallot and some minced fresh sage to the pan (add a little olive oil if needed). Sauté for a minute or two.
Add a healthy splash of white wine. Let wine almost evaporate and add a pat of butter. Swirl till melted.
Pour sauce over cutlets. Serve it with an arugula salad. Or romaine salad dressed with a parmigiano vinaigrette.
Deliciousness made easy!