When the weather is hot and humid, I spend a lot of time planning my next food and travel adventure. It's a way for me to escape the heat, the job, and life just for a while. It usually inspires me to get in the kitchen and create something based on the culinary adventure I just took in my living room.
This week I "went" to Italy and became entranced with all the different versions of saltimbocca.
Although saltimbocca is traditionally made with veal, prosciutto, and sage, I opted to make it with the chicken in my fridge and basil from my garden. These flavors are also enticing in the heat.
Saltimbocca means "jump in the mouth," and you will certainly agree with that sentiment as you finish the pan sauce and then take this yummy dish to the dinner table. It's a simple, elegant meal that will transport you straight to the streets of Rome, at least for a moment.
Contact Alicia Ross at Kitchen Scoop, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Kitchen Scoop Web site at www.kitchenscoop.com.
Easy Chicken Saltimbocca
Steamed rice of choice
Fresh spinach salad
Easy Chicken Saltimbocca
Start to finish: 20 minutes
4 chicken breast cutlets (1 pound), thinly sliced
2 paper-thin slices prosciutto, cut in half
4 large fresh basil leaves
4 thin slices fresh mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 small shallot, finely diced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
Hot steamed rice, optional for serving
Lay each breast cutlet flat; top with a piece of prosciutto, basil leaf and slice of cheese. Fold the cutlet over the stacked ingredients and secure with toothpicks along the edge. Set aside.
Heat the butter and oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium until butter begins to bubble.
Meanwhile, combine flour, salt, and pepper on a shallow plate. Dredge each side of the cutlet in the flour mixture. Place immediately into hot oil-butter mixture. Brown about 4 minutes on each side. Remove to a plate.
Add the shallot to the pan. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until translucent and tender. Add wine and broth. Stir well. Place chicken back in pan; cover and cook until sauce is reduced by half and chicken is cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately over rice (if desired). Top each serving with pan sauce.
Yield: 4 servings
Approximate values per serving: 298 calories, 14 g fat (6g saturated), 89 mg cholesterol, 34 g protein, 4 g carbohydrates, no dietary fiber, 414 mg sodium.