Possibly as long as I’ve known of Maggiano’s Little Italy’s existence one of my favorite dishes has been Chicken Saltimbocca. Heck, it was one of the dishes we served at our wedding! Plus, I like the name. Saltimbocca, translated from Italian, means “jump mouth”.
With my new home business (which I can’t explicitly say what is; darn rules and darn my ethics for following them! shoot me an email if you are curious) I have even more of an excuse to try some new dishes, and Chicken Saltimbocca was Tuesday’s adventure. I looked at a few recipes, took a bit here and a bit there and ended up with this:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
all-purpose flour (about 1/4 – 1/3 cup)
2 T. butter (NOT margarine)
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 small onion, wedged
1 tsp. dried marjoram or sage (or about 2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped – I just didn’t have any on hand!)
2 large slices prosciutto, cut in half
4 slices provolone or mozzarella
3/4 C. dry white wine
- Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness with meat mallet. Season with salt and pepper to taste (fresh ground of both if possible) and dredge in flour spread on a plate.
Tip: Pounding the chicken flat means it will cook evenly, especially important when pan cooking.
- Melt 1 T. of butter (save other tablespoon for later) with olive oil in a large stainless steel fry or sauté pan until very hot. Add the chicken and onion wedges and cook about 5-6 minutes (until the undersides are golden brown). Turn chicken and onion wedges and cook an additional 4-6 minutes (until the chicken is firm when pressed in the center).
Tip 1: You need to use stainless steel to create the “fond”, the brown bits stuck to the pan used in making the sauce. You won’t get them in non-stick cookware.
Tip 2: The easiest way to cut up the onion is with an apple wedger/corer. Use as many wedges as you like, save the rest in freezer for another use.
- Reduce the heat to very low. Sprinkle the chicken with marjoram or sage. Top each piece with a piece of prosciutto and cheese. Cover pan and cook about a minute to a minute and a half (until the cheese melts). Remove chicken to a serving plate and cover loosely (without touching cheese) with foil.
- Bring pan to high heat until it sizzles. Add the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes, until reduced to about 1/4 cup, then remove from heat and whisk in the remaining 1 T. butter.
Tip: deglazing the pan not only creates a great sauce, but makes the pan really easy to clean!
- Spoon sauce and onions over and around the chicken and serve immediately. Be prepared for accolades.