Monday, February 28, 2011

Chicken Saltimbocca

This week I thought it would be fun to highlight some of my favorite chicken recipes. I think chicken is one of those things that everyone knows how to prepare in one form or another. It can become a little boring or it can be fantastic. Everyone, myself included, could use a new chicken dish in their repertoire.  Hopefully this week will give you all some new ideas for an old classic.

Chicken saltimbocca is an Italian dish that my mom makes. It is one of the first dishes my mom made for my husband when we were engaged and he requests it each time we go to my parent's house.And I'm pretty sure it will be the first meal my brother will request when he gets off his mission in a few months. Traditionally saltimbocca is made from veal, but chicken is more readily available and just as good. I believe that the translation of saltimbocca is "jumps in the mouth," and it does just that! Serve it with angel hair pasta with a good pesto sauce or rice pilaf.

Chicken Saltimbocca
boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins
prosciutto (If you haven't had prosciutto, it is an Italian cured meat similar to bacon, but edible straight from the package more like ham. It is paper thin and melt-in-your-mouth delicious! It can be found by the packaged gourmet deli meats and cheeses. It may seem a little spendy, but a little goes a long ways. One package can make saltimbocca for 4, twice!)
olive oil

-Pound the chicken to less than 1/2 inch thick. I like to put the chicken in a large ziploc and pound it with the flat side of a meat mallet. (You can also use a heavy tin can.)
-Once all the chicken is pounded, season both sides with salt and pepper. (Go light on the salt because the prosciutto is salty.) You might want to cut chicken breasts in half at this point to get a size that is easier to work with.
-Now place a single layer of prosciutto on one side of each piece of chicken. You might need to use more than one piece of prosciutto and piece them together like a puzzle to cover the whole piece of chicken, or cut off excess if prosciutto is too big.
-Heat 1-2 Tbs. olive oil in a large, heavy frying pan on medium heat.
-While pan is heating, put about 1/2 cup flour in a shallow dish. Lay each piece of chicken in flour, pat down, flip, and repeat to get flour coated all over the outside of the chicken and prosciutto.
-Once olive oil is warm place chicken, prosciutto side down, in oil. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown and chicken is cooked all the way through. The prosciutto should cling to the chicken and get crispy. Remove from pan onto paper towel lined plate.
*Note: If chicken is browning very quickly, turn down the heat so chicken has time to cook all the way through.
Coat it in flour
Cook in a little olive oil
Drain on paper towels, and devour!

1 comment:

denverallens said...

Put some cheese on top and you just might be in heaven!