Aug 6, 2010

Day 4: Chicken Saltimbocca

On Monday I came across this recipe for Chicken Saltimbocca and wanted to give it a try. Though chicken isn't my favorite meat, my husband loves it and I'm on the hunt to expand my cooking skills... so I put my chef's hat on and prepared to give it a try.

The original recipe called for the following ingredients, but I made a few tweaks:

  • 6 (3-ounce) chicken cutlets, pounded to evenly flatten (I used a family pack of chicken breast tenderloins and a can of pork and beans to pound it flat lol... very bootleg but it worked. To make things easier place the meat between wax paper)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 paper-thin slices prosciutto (The deli was already closed but they have packaged Prosciutto by the lunch meat/bacon. 1 package is 3 oz and I'd recommend buying 2 to be on the safe side. You'll definitely have leftovers)
  • 1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed (I followed the Mop Top Maven's recipe tweak and used fresh spinach. While she recommended 4 bunches you really only need 2 tops, if that. I used the leftover spinach to make a salad)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 (14-ounce) can low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Toothpicks

Cooking (directions taken from Mop Top Maven):

Place the chicken cutlets flat on the work surface. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Lay 1 slice of prosciutto atop each chicken cutlet.

Squeeze the frozen spinach to remove the excess water. Season the spinach with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, toss the spinach with 1 tablespoon of oil to coat.

Arrange an even, thin layer of spinach atop the prosciutto slices. Sprinkle the Parmesan evenly over each. Beginning at the short tapered end, roll up each chicken cutlet as for a jellyroll. Secure with a toothpick.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and cook just until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Add the chicken broth and lemon juice, and scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

Bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Cover and simmer until the chicken is just cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Simmer the cooking liquid over high heat until it is reduced to about 2/3 cup, about 5 minutes. Season the cooking liquid with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove toothpicks from the chicken. Drizzle the reduced cooking liquid over the chicken and serve immediately.

Finished Product: I'd hate to say it but I was underwhelmed. This meal wasn't bad, but it was definitely too bland for my taste. On top of that this stuff was SALTY! Whatever amount of salt you think you should be using, use half because as the Prosciutto cooks into the chicken it will naturally make it saltier. I wasn't familiar with Chicken Saltimbocca but from the other recipes I found online it is not advised to use spinach. Most recipes call for either fresh sage or basil. I also found the grated Parmesan to be boring. In the future I'll definitely be adding mozzarella and provolone, maybe even ricotta. Flour can be added to the sauce to thicken it as well as some garlic to add more flavor. The photography on Mop Top Maven's site was so good that it sucked me into doing this recipe, but this was definitely more of a *poof* than a *POW*. Everyone likes different tastes (my mom loved this recipe as is) so I'd definitely recommend making a smaller portion to try it out and then figure out which tweaks work for you.


Prepping the chicken

Prosciutto, Parmesan and Spinach added

Rolled up and in the skillet

Finished product

Ready to Eat!

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