This happy accident of a recipe was born last Friday night when I set out to make Giada di Laurentis’s Chicken Saltimbocca. I had made the dish a couple of times before, and always enjoyed it. Though, ( surprise, surprise) I had never followed the recipe perfectly. This time was no exception; I had begun my prep-work and was re-reading the recipe when I realized that I didn’t have any toothpicks or skewers, and therefore no way to roll up the chicken and pin it into neat little wheels. So, I adapted the recipe, et voila! Chicken Saltim-Sort-Of was born. And to be honest, (no offence Giada, ‘cause we go way back girl…) I prefer it this way!
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4-6 ounces each)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
280 grams (10 ounces) frozen spinach, thoroughly defrosted
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6-paper thin slices prosciutto
50 grams (¼ cup) grated parmesan cheese (can be substituted with emmental, gruyère or comté)
3 cloves garlic, minced
120 ml (½ cup) cider, white wine, or other cooking alcohol (chicken stock may be substituted for the alcohol)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Place the chicken breasts on the work surface, and pound them out until they are relatively even. Season with salt and pepper on each side.
Press the water out of the spinach. Add the lemon zest to the spinach and season with salt and pepper.
Over medium/high heat, drizzle the olive oil in the bottom of the saucepan or Dutch oven. Once olive oil is sizzling, place each chicken breast in the pan. Cook about 2 minutes or until the chicken is browned, and then flip the chicken over using the thongs and cook a further 2 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside. Place each strip of prosciutto in the saucepan, and cook about 30 seconds on each side, or until prosciutto begins to crisp up and bubble.
Once each slice of prosciutto has been browned on both sides remove them from pan and put the chicken back in. Place a strip of prosciutto on top of each chicken breast. Drizzle the cheese over the prosciutto, followed by the minced garlic, and then place a heap of spinach atop each piece of chicken breast.
Gently pour in the cooking alcohol (or chicken broth) without disrupting the spinach on top of the chicken. Drizzle lemon juice over the chicken. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked through