Chicken Saltimbocca was that fancy Italian Restaurant entrée of my childhood. Growing up, I ate a wide variety of common and not so common Italian foods at home. However, not this chicken dish. This dish was something I ordered, on the very special occasion that my family dined out. Maybe, that is why it felt so distinctly unique and magical.
And so, while sometimes, it can be disappointing to learn that the magical things you once believed are not true, sometimes it can be just as wonderful to discover the truth.
Okay, so this last statement may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it did make me feel happy when I discovered that making Chicken Saltimbocca at home was not difficult or too elaborate after all.
What is Chicken Saltimbocca?
The word Saltimbocca literally translates into “leap into the mouth”, which perfectly describes all that big flavor you taste when you bite into it.
To begin making this dish, I start by pounding thin a Boneless Chicken Breast and lightly dusting it with well-seasoned flour. For my seasoning, I use a mix of cumin, garlic powder as well as salt and pepper.
Traditionally, this chicken dish is quickly cooked in a hot pan with both butter and olive oil. Then, it is necessary to remove the chicken from the pan and add the wine and stock. At this point, you will want to make sure that all those bits on the bottom of the pan are scraped up and stirred with the liquid. Then, the easy part, where the liquid just simmers and reduces, until it thickens slightly.
Once, the pan juices are done reducing, the chicken needs to be placed back in the skillet. A layer of sage, fontina cheese and prosciutto on top of the chicken, along with a spoonful of the pan juices, then under the broiler it goes. Before long, the cheese will melt and the prosciutto will crisp to perfection.
Something on the side:
You certainly, can serve this over plain pasta or even mashed potatoes. However, I encourage you to try my Lemon Garlic Spinach. In fact, I suggest you make the spinach first and use the same pan, that you will use to cook the chicken. Once done, you can easily transfer the spinach to a covered serving plate, so that it stays warm.
Lemon Garlic Spinach:
- 1lb. fresh Baby Spinach
- 1 ½ tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 Garlic clove, smashed
- ½ tsp. grated Lemon zest
- Salt and pepper
In the first place, the skillet needs to be very hot. Next, have all of your ingredients ready because it will make a difference. Add the olive oil to the hot pan, followed by the garlic. Reduce heat and quickly stir the garlic, so it does not burn and then just as quickly remove the pan from the heat. At this point, add the spinach to the hot pan. Toss immediately with your tongs. The heat from the pan will cause the spinach to wilt. While tossing the spinach, add the lemon zest as well as the salt and pepper. Now, because there is no need to wipe it clean, simply transfer spinach to another plate and place pan back on stovetop to begin the chicken.
The key is to work quickly, so that you are not left with mushy overcooked spinach.
Ingredients for Chicken Saltimbocca:
- 4-6 chicken breast, pounded thin
- 1/2 cup Flour
- 1/4 tsp. Cumin
- 1/2 tsp. Garlic powder
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp. Olive oil
- 3 tbsp. Butter
- 1/4 cup White wine
- 1/2 cup Chicken stock
- 4-6 Sage leaves
- Fontina Cheese, 4-6 slices
- Prosciutto, 4-6 slices
- In a shallow pan, combine flour with cumin, garlic powder, salt & pepper
- Pat chicken dry with a clean towel and lightly press each side into the seasoned flour.
- Heat a large skillet on medium-high and add olive oil and butter.
- Add chicken to hot skillet and cook for approximately one to two minutes, on each side.
- Important to note, you will want to avoid overcooking the chicken, keeping in mind that it will continue to cook once placed back in skillet. Remove chicken and transfer to a warm plate.
- Now, reduce heat to medium and add the wine and the stock, while scraping all those bits on the bottom of the pan.
- The chicken should be placed back in the skillet and removed from the heat, once the liquid has simmered for about 10 minutes.
- Next, I place a sage leaf on top of chicken, along with a slice of fontina, and a strip of prosciutto.
- Cover each piece with a generous spoonful of the juices, before placing under broiler.
- Altogether, it won’t take long before the cheese will melt and the prosciutto will crisp to perfection.
Place a serving of the Lemon Garlic Spinach over a plated portion of the chicken or serve the Chicken Saltimbocca over your choice of pasta or mashed potatoes.
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