So, I had a major prosciutto craving. I’m not even the slightest bit ashamed either because it’s been a while since the two of us have dined together, so it was only right that I rekindle the flame. Yes, I’m still talking about my love for prosciutto.
I had always liked prosciutto, but it wasn’t until I lived in Italy that I really fell in love with the meat. Over there, it’s never just an ingredient, it’s the star of the dish. You can always find a cured hunk of ham leg, bone and all, hanging from butcher shops or local grocery stores, being delicately sliced by request. My homestay mom, Flora, would bring home the best prosciutto crudo (cured ham) and prosciutto cotto (cooked ham), simply paired with mozzarella di bufala (buffalo mozzarella cheese) and a dash of balsamic and oilo nuovo (which is the very freshest olive oil, vibrant green in color).
One day, she asked me what I would like to eat for dinner: mind you, this was a rarity because she cooked what she felt like that day and never took orders ahead of time. So, as I was put on the spot, I tried so hard to think of a dish I really loved, that had not already been prepared before. Little Yellow Note: Flora was a culinary genius and always had a new recipe up her sleeve.
With a huge smile on my face and with such an air of confidence, I blurted out: “Chicken Saltimbocca.” Why you ask?? Well, I hate to admit it, but this prosciutto-topped chicken dish from Buca di Beppo was really delicious, and I wanted the authentic version, straight out of Italy. The only problem was that she had no idea what I was talking about. I forgot to mention that there was a huge language barrier at first, as I spoke no Italian, and they spoke no English. Oh an also, the word saltimbocca means “jumps in the mouth.” No wonder why I got a blank stare when I asked for “chicken that jumps in my mouth!” Apparently, they have a different name for the dish.
I think that night she ended up making prosciutto and cheese panini’s. Clearly not what I asked for, but it was delicious, regardless. I am fairly sure that Flora figured out what I was asking for later in my stay there, as she provided a feast of prosciutto-topped veal. It was close enough. My belly was happy.
Without further adieu, here is one of the most flavorful Italian dishes!
Salt and pepper the chicken, then wrap each tender in a cozy blanket of prosciutto. Then top with whole sage leaves, although you may want to tuck them in just a tad, to ensure that they stay in place.
Make a plastic wrap envelope and place the chicken inside, spaced apart so that they have room to be tenderized. Don’t be alarmed, they will grow a bit.
Next, lightly dredge in flour and place in the pan with the melted butter and oil combo, sage-side down.
Set cooked chicken aside, and prepare the wine shallot sauce. Then arrange the chicken-prosciutto wonderfullness with pretty little lemon slices, drizzle with sauce and EAT!
- 6 chicken cutlets (we used 6 chicken tenders)
- 6 thin slices prosciutto
- 12 sage leaves, more for garnish
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup dry white wine, a little extra won’t hurt 🙂
- 1/2 cup organic chicken broth
- 1/2 shallot, chopped
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- Lemon slices
3. Shovel the flour onto a plate and dip the pounded chicken in it, lightly coating each side. Heat a tablespoon of butter and the olive oil in a large pan. When the butter is melted and starts foaming, add the chicken cutlets to the pan, sage-side down. Cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, turning once, until lightly browned, a little crispy and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm, while making the sauce.
4. Add wine to the hot pan and stir with a wooden spoon to de-glaze the pan. Add in the shallots and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Let the wine reduce by half, then add the chicken broth and reduce by half again. Turn off the heat and stir in remaining tablespoon of butter (we used a little less than a Tbsp). Pour over the plated cooked chicken cutlets and it’s ready to serve with lemon wedges.
*Little Yellow Note: we crisped up a little more sage to add to the tops of the chicken…we love the extra flavor!
Lemon Garlic Asparagus:
- 1/2 lb asparagus
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- salt & pepper, to taste
1. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus. This is easy to to by hand, by snapping off the bottom portion.
2. Heat the oil in a medium pan, add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add the asparagus and stir it up. Squeeze in the lemon and add a dash of salt and pepper, to taste, and you got yourself a simple side-dish!
Multigrain Garlic Crostini:
- multigrain loaf–we got ours from TJ’s
- fresh parmeggiano reggiano cheese, shredded or shaved
- rosemary, dried or fresh
- garlic, for rubbing
- olive oil
1. Cut bread into 1 inch thick slices. Drizzle each piece with olive oil and sprinkle with chopped rosemary.
2. Place under the broiler for a few minutes until they look golden and crispy… Keep an eye out for these puppies! They can burn quickly, so stay near the oven to constantly check on them.
3. Take slices of bread out and rub vigorously with garlic. Top with a few shreds of cheese and place back under the broiler for another minute or two, or until desired melted-ness is reached.
4. Serve with meal!
From the Little Yellow Kitchen,