Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Delicious!!!! Chicken Saltimbocca

Good evening friends!

I hope this finds you all almost home from a long day at work, and contemplating what is for dinner.  I mean after all, is there anything more important at the end of a long day?  Ok, confession, I started this blog, then went to a church function and now it is 10pm.  If you are still contemplating dinner and have not fed your children, I am calling an intervention.

This recipe came out of some craving, and some curiosity.  I was sick of the same chicken dishes, over and over.  I am a huge fan of the ol' poultry myself, so to find new ways of making it is always in the front of my food thoughts.  When I asked my mother- in -law about it, she said...."it's my favorite".  How could she have never made this for me?  What kind of mother-in-law keeps dishes like this to herself?!?!  I need to rethink my approach with this woman...maybe hold her chocolate making goods for ransom.  Ransom being any other recipes she is keeping from me all while savoring the goodness for herself! HA!   Ok, anyway, it can be made with veal as well, so keep that in mind.  I loved this dish, it has been a very good food week for me!

This chicken recipe is easy and quick.  It does require ingredients you may or may not usually have on hand.  I served it over pasta, and some some bruschetta.  *that recipe to follow soon*  When you pound your chicken breasts so thinly, they take so little time to cook through, they have no time to dry out.  I did use a combination of butter and olive oil because, I mean, well, EVERYTHING is better with butter!  The sage can also be omitted, another thing my mother-in-law does since she does dislike sage.  Though as you will see, I laid whole sage leaves across the chicken, you could also chop it and sprinkle it for a little less sage taste.  It does give it a great background flavor that I would personally miss if it wasn't there.

I will write this recipe up for 6 portions.  You can make 2 or 6 in really the same amount of time, so make extra because my husband suggested, with a leftover piece, you could add some provolone or mozzarella cheese and make it into a panini.  I am quadruple excited about anything that can be made into something totally different as a leftover.  I can however, never give him credit for the idea, you women with husbands know how this goes.  If he thinks he had a great idea.......I will never hear the end of it and if you comment on his idea, it could be the death of me!  HAHA   Just kidding, kind of.

Ok, since I KNOW your on the edge of your seat.  Lets do this peeps!  Get a romantic dinner for 2 set up, go to the food store and get these things for 6 portions.

Grocery List
6 chicken breasts, butterfly them and pound them out thin or perhaps you can by cutlets already thin
6 pieces of THINLY sliced prosciutto (12 if breasts are going to be ginormous....umm....nvm)
18 sage leaves
3/4 to 1 cup  bottle of white wine
1/2 chicken stock
1/4 cup of fresh grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Make sure all chicken breasts are pounded out equally in thickness. Dust chicken in flour and salt and pepper.  Lay leaves on the top of each piece and then lay a piece of prosciutto over the entire piece of chicken. (might take 2 pieces) In a saute pan, melt 1 tbsp butter with 1 tbsp olive oil.  When ready, add in your chicken, prosciutto side down.  Saute on each side approx 3 minutes, or however long you need for the thickness of your chicken breasts.  Do as many at a time as you can.  When they are done, put on a baking sheet topped with a wire rack in the oven just on warm to keep them warm.  When all chicken is done, deglaze your pan with your wine.  Must be white!  Whisk in chicken stock and last tbsp of butter.  Let simmer 2 -3 minutes and add in Parmesan cheese. Continue whisking and letting reduce and thicken until it is the consistency you would like.   Serve on top of a bed of buttered spaghetti and drizzle some sauce over the top.

Now here are some things that you have options on.  Sage can be chopped or laid whole across the chicken.  My prosciutto was cut to thick by my butcher.  However, I kind of enjoyed it.  I used domestic prosciutto and I considered what was likely available in all parts of the country.  I personally am not a huge fan of the expensive "di Parma" prosciutto.  I find it far to salty for my liking most of the time.  I can purchase it at my local Italian Deli for 29.00/lb.  Domestic I can get at my local food store, for 10.00/lb.   You will not need near a pound by the way.  When you choose a wine to cook with, make sure it is one you would enjoy drinking.  The flavor will concentrate so if you hate the taste of it from a glass, you certainly won't like it cooked into your pan sauce!  Also remember you can chop your sage or use it whole.  *I know there are 4 leaves in my photo*

I hope you try this, you will love it.  Its something likely out of your regular culinary treasure box, but not so far off your family won't try it or LOVE it.  I promise!

Your tired, but happy chefwannabe,


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