Saturday, March 17, 2012

Chicken Saltimbocca

Chicken Saltimbocca loosely translated means chicken that jumps in your mouth. It took me trying a lot of different recipes and then trying a few variations of my own before perfecting what works for me, which is a wonderful combination of salty, sour, and earthy flavors that do jumping jacks in my mouth. The key for me is lots of fresh sage. Here's the recipe:

6 boneless chicken breasts – flattened
Approx. 30 fresh sage leaves (depends on size ) - 20 to 24 whole and the remainder finely chopped.
6 large slices of Prosciutto di Parma
6 to 12 slices Fontina Cheese – enough to cover the 6 chicken breasts
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
Juice of one fresh lemon
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
½ cup Flour

Mix Flour Sea Salt and Pepper together on a plate and dredge chicken in flour mixture. Heat the oil over medium high heat and brown the chicken on both sides, remove and set aside. The chicken should be almost but not quite fully cooked through at this point. Add wine and deglaze pan. Add chicken stock and simmer for approximately 10 minutes to thicken the sauce, and once thick add 1 tbs butter. While the sauce is simmering, place 3 to 4 sage leaves and a slice of prosciutto on each chicken breast, and then cover with Fontina cheese – use enough slices to almost fully cover the chicken. Once the sauce is thickened, return the chicken to the pan and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes until the cheese is melted. Add the chopped sage and lemon juice and then serve the chicken with the pan juices spooned over it. I like to serve this with some linguine with garlic and olive oil on the side.

This dish can go a lot of different ways with the wine pairing. The sauce and the chicken tend to pair well with whites that have some nice acid to them, but for me the prosciutto combined with this just begs for a nice light to medium bodied acidic red like a Barbera d’Alba. As long as you don’t choose something too heavy, I don’t think you can go wrong here.


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