I’ve made stuffed chicken and chicken Marsala on multiple occasions, but when I hosted friends for dinner last weekend I decided to try making one of my favorite Italian recipes: chicken saltimbocca.
To go along with the chicken, I thought I’d try a really bizarre yet tasty-looking potato recipe I spotted on Pinterest. If you are a Pinterest user, you’ll know what I mean when I say it’s one of those novelty ideas that seems to float around on the social networking site and end up on everybody’s food board.
First, the chicken saltimbocca: Traditionally made with veal, saltimbocca is defined in “Food Lover’s Companion” as “a Roman specialty of finely sliced veal sprinkled with sage and topped with a thin slice of prosciutto. It is sauteed in butter, then braised in white wine.”
However, when I searched a bunch of saltimbocca recipes online, I couldn’t find any two alike. Some called for cheese inside, some didn’t. Some called for white wine, some for Marsala. Some called for mushrooms in the sauce, some didn’t. Well, I never met a cheese, mushroom or Marsala wine I didn’t like, so I cobbled together a couple of different recipes to form the one I used.
My helpful hints: Make sure you are using a thin chicken breast. Consider buying the “thin and fancy” cut or, if you’ve bought those massive, mutant chicken breasts, butterflying them all the way in half. Also, pound them with a meat mallet until they are super thin but not mangled. For the cheese, I cut my own slices from a small block instead of using pre-sliced cheese. If you use those pre-cut slices that are the size of American cheese slices, you may wish to either fold them in half or cut them in half.
Otherwise, this dish was surprisingly easy to make and was killer delicious. You’ll find the recipe below.
Now, on to the strange potatoes. This recipe calls for taking a standard-sized baking potato and slicing it in thin slices without cutting all the way through the potato. You are left with a sort of accordioned potato (see the photo), which is supposed to be drizzled with butter and olive oil and baked. It supposedly results in a bunch of golden, crispy potato slices.
I found it easy to slice the potatoes so long as I was using a nice, sharp knife. But it was a bit challenging to get the butter and olive oil down in between all the slices. I separated them with my fingers and used a pastry brush. I seasoned mine with seasoned salt and pepper. They looked really neat and the edges were crispy, but they tasted rather boring. Therefore, I suggest jazzing them up with more spices/herbs and serving them with something saucy, whether it be ketchup, sour cream, onion dip, horseradish cream or something else.
I will say that my guest seemed to enjoy them, and if you’re feeding children they will probably be a hit. Bake them at 425 degrees for about one hour, checking after 45 minutes to see how they’re coming along.
That’s my kitchen experiment report for the week. I hope you all have fun cooking this weekend, whether you try one of these recipes or something else entirely. Bon appetit!
1 cup all purpose flour
Salt and pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 slices prosciutto
6 large sage leaves (or equivalent in small leaves)
6 slices mozzarella cheese
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
2 cups Marsala wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter
1. Place flour in a shallow bowl or pie plate and season with salt and pepper.
2. Using a meat mallet, pound the chicken breasts as thin as you can without mangling them (ideally, about 1/4-inch thickness). Season each breast with salt and pepper. Lay one sage leaf, one prosciutto slice and one slice of mozzarella on each chicken breast. Fold in half like a book and secure with a toothpick. Dredge each chicken bundle in seasoned flour.
3. In a 12- to 14-inch frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until smoking. Add chicken and saute on both sides until golden brown.
4. Add shallots and mushrooms and cook until mushrooms have sweated, about 5 minutes. Check on the chicken breasts and move them around so the bottoms don’t burn. A little bit of the cheese might ooze out, but that’s OK.
5. Add Marsala and chicken stock and cook until the liquid has reduced by half. It will be boiling pretty furiously. When the sauce has reduced, swirl in the butter.
6. Serve chicken breasts topped with sauce.