The weather has made a real strange turn here in the Pacific Northwest. We went from some moderately warm weather to really chilly pretty much overnight. Followed by a week of rain; chilly cold rain, and then the sun came back out. You can smell autumn in the air but the leaves are not really changing yet. I will admit that with the rain we had I feared that when it was over we would have no leaves left to admire. As luck should have it they did not all wash away, and will hopefully be changing soon so that we can admire them all.
Autumn is such a great season, even with all of its unpredictable weather. I wanted to make a refreshing salad the other night for dinner. As the day went on, the rain continued and the temperature dropped. So I no longer wanted that salad. I wanted to make a nice and comforting meal that was easy. I was not in the mood to fuss. That is when I thought of a dish I have not made in some time – Chicken Saltimbocca. It is easy to make, supper comforting, not a lot of ingredients, and somewhat elegant. Everyone needs a recipe like this; one that you can whip up in no time and serve to guests and impress.
When Brian came home exclaiming how chilly and damp it was out there. As he walked over to the kitchen he saw me pulling the Chicken Saltimbocca out of the oven and he was grinning. That looks great he exclaimed. I made him a plate and when we sat down to eat I explained to Brian how the day seems so dreary, but making a nice meal like this makes it all better. He agreed, and commented on how the chicken was fork tender. No doubt about it, a dish like this was just what this unruly autumn weather called for.
Chicken Saltimbocca (Serves 4)
4 – 6 boneless chicken breast halves
¾ cup of flour
Sea Salt and Fresh Black Pepper, to taste
3 tbsp of butter (unsalted)
2 tbsp of olive oil
Fresh sage, about 3 sprigs
Sliced Prosciutto, at least 1 slice per chicken halve
Fresh Mozzarella, at least ¼ lb or more; thinly sliced
1 1/3 cup of dry white wine
First, place your chicken in between two pieces of plastic wrap and lightly pound to thin out. You are looking to make the breasts evenly thin and will also tenderize the chicken at the same time.
Next, in a dish toss your flour along with your sea salt and black pepper. Place a frying pan over medium heat and melt 2 tbsp of your butter along with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Meanwhile take two of your chicken breasts and lightly dust them in your flour mixture. Once dusted and your butter is melted place your chicken gently in the frying pan (laying them flat) and simmer until lightly golden. When evenly golden place the chicken in a rimmed baking dish. Repeat with the remanding chicken, adding extra olive oil if the pan gets too dry.
Then, heat your oven to 375 degrees. Chop the sage, reserving about 6 whole leaves; and sprinkle the chopped sage over the chicken. In the frying pan pour your wine and keep the heat on at a medium. Gently stir the wine getting all the bits of chicken and flour off the bottom of the pan, let it come to a simmer and reduce it by a half. Remove from the heat and while constantly stirring add in the remaining tablespoon of butter. Stir until melted.
Finally, place a layer of prosciutto over each sage sprinkled chicken. Over the top of that evenly place your mozzarella slices. Gently pour your wine reduction over the layered chicken. Cover you baking dish with foil, and place in the oven for about 20 minutes. You are looking for the wine to be simmering around the chicken, and the mozzarella to be melted. Serve while warm with a whole sage leaf on each piece. Spooning the wine reduction over your chicken as you serve.