Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Chicken Saltimbocca

I haven't been cooking that much lately (my energies have instead been spent on pickling and preserving things), but tonight I got back into the kitchen and put together an excellent meal. Saltimbocca (literally, 'jumps in your mouth') can be made with chicken, veal, or pork cutlets, and this time I opted for boneless, skinless chicken thighs. It's wrapped in prosciutto, though I used some awesome, thin-sliced, Canadian bacon from Anoka Meats, which was surprising similar to prosciutto. The key ingredient is fresh sage, so if you don't have any just let me know and I will give you some! I have plenty in my garden. Some people add capers to the dish, some people add spinach, but I like to just keep it simple. Make it however you like.

Yummy yummy! You can't see the sage, but it's underneath the outer layer of the rolls. It give the dish its characteristic flavor, which you don't taste very often.

1 - 1 1/2 lbs. chicken, veal, or pork cutlets
enough thin sliced prosciutto so that you can wrap each cutlet in it
1 handful whole fresh sage leaves (sliver 2-3 of them for later)
salt and white pepper
flour for dredging
3 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. chicken broth
2 Tbsp. white wine
1/2 lemon, juiced

Pound your meat out flat with a meat pounder. Sprinkle both sides lightly with salt and white pepper. Press 2-3 sage leaves onto one side of each piece. On top of the sage and meat, place enough prosciutto to roughly cover each piece. Roll the pieces so that the prosciutto is on the outside (with a layer of sage inbetween it and the meat).

Fresh out of the pan. They look a little scary in the photo but I assure you they're delicious. I just poured the sauce over them before serving.

While you do the next step, gently heat 2 Tbsp. of the butter and the olive oil in a medium frying pan. Lightly dredge the meat rolls in flour and secure with toothpics if you like. Gently fry the rolls over medium heat, turning with tongs during cooking so that each side gets browned. TIP: if you don't want to use toothpicks, cook the side with the seam first to keep them from unrolling.

When the rolls are cooked thoroughly and golden brown on all sides, remove them from the pan and keep them warm. Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth and lemon juice and allow it to reduce by 1/3. Whisk 1 Tbsp. flour (you can just take this from the dredging plate) into the wine and then pour this into the deglazing liquid, stirring constantly. Allow this to thicken and add the slivered sage leaves and remaining Tbsp. butter, and adjust the salt. Pour the sauce over the rolls or serve it on the side.

I served these with mashed potatoes and patty pan squash sauteed with green beans. Just heat some olive oil, add a couple of minced cloves of garlic, add the squash and green beans, and season with fresh parsley, salt, and ground pepper. Voila--quick and easy!

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