Chicken Saltimbocca with Herbed Cheese Straws

When dining out, I rarely order a chicken dish. I make a lot of chicken at home, to top on salads, wrap in tacos, or put in the center of a warm, pesto panini. But there are a lot of great restaurants with chicken dishes I would love to replicate. Chicken Saltimbocca is such a satisfying and cozy dish, and reminds me of something I’d order (or be tempted to order) in a restaurant. Sage and prosciutto di Parma make it elegant.

Sage is one of my favorite herbs. It’s sweet, earthy and warm.

Ask your butcher to butterfly your chicken breasts so all you have to do is lightly pound them at home.

Season the breasts with salt and pepper, then place 2 sage leaves on each breast and slice with prosciutto.

Heat a large skillet with olive oil and butter. This is the largest I have, so I worked in batches.

Start prosciutto side up.

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When you flip, the breasts will be a crisp golden.

Once the breasts were browned, I set mine in two glass baking dishes, which is where they finished cooking. I made a lot for a dinner party and this made my life so much easier!

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All the while, I made Parmesan and Herb Cheese Straws. Fresh herbs make them a winner!

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Grated parmesan cheese, thyme, and chives.

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Puff pastry is smothered in an egg wash and topped with the cheese and herb mixture. Be sure to use a rolling pin to press the topping into the dough.

Slice and twist from each end.

Your cheese straws, post-baking. Your friends will be impressed.

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I served this with the brussels sprouts I told you about recently.

RECIPES

CHICKEN SALTIMBOCCA, from Food & Wine:

ingredients:

  • Four 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, butterflied and lightly pounded. 
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 large sage leaves
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto di Parma
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dry white wine, like sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio
  • 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth

preparation:

  1. If your chicken is not pounded, place breasts between two sheets of waxed or parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to lightly pound the breasts. 
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place 2 sage leaves on each breast. Top with a slice of prosciutto, trimming it to fit. Press prosciutto to help it adhere to the chicken. Dust chicken with flour, shaking off excess.
  3. Heat a large skillet. Add the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add 2 of the breasts, prosciutto side up, and cook over high heat until nearly cooked through, about 3 minutes. Turn the chicken and cook just until the prosciutto begins to shrink, about 1 minute. Transfer chicken to a plate or glass baking dish; repeat with remaining chicken. Pour off any fat and wipe out the skillet.
  4. There are two options from this point. Food and Wine suggests this: You can add the remaining butter to skillet. Add the wine and cook over high heat until reduced by half, 2 minutes. Then add the stock and bring to a boil, cooking until reduced by half, 3 minutes. Return chicken to skillet, prosciutto side up and cook until chicken is cooked through, 2 minutes.
  5. I made more chicken to accomodate my guests so I used a glass baking dish, added the wine and broth, plus a little butter (room temperature) and covered a glass baking dish with foil. I baked the chicken at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Start checking your chicken after 12 minutes as cooking times will vary. Use a thermometer to ensure the chicken is cooked through, or cut open on of the breasts. This made my life much easier since I was serving a larger group!
  6. After the chicken is cooked, assemble and enjoy!

PARMESAN AND HERB CHEESE STRAWS, from Joy the Baker:

ingredients:

  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • few dashes of hot sauce
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed but still cold
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon minced thyme
  • coarse ground black pepper and sea salt

preparation:

  1. Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Unfold puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface and roll out just slightly. The puff pastry should measure about 10×12-inches.
  3. In a small bowl, whist together egg, hot sauce, and a splash of water. Brush the egg wash over the surface of the puff pastry. Sprinkle pastry with cheese and herbs, coarse pepper, and a bit of salt. Use the rolling pin to gently roll and press the toppings into the puff pastry.
  4. Using a floured knife or pizza cutter, cut pastry lengthwise into about 1/2-inch strips. Hold each end of the pastry and twist several times. Place the twisted pastry on the prepared sheet, about 1-inch apart.
  5. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. You may want to take the baking cheese straws out halfway through baking to flip. Allow to cool on the pan for 10 minutes before serving.
  6. Cheese straws will last up to 3 days in an airtight container. However, my guests ate them all in one night!
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