Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Chicken Saltimbocca

I made saltimbocca for dinner last night. The classic dish is usually made with veal, but I used chicken breasts. If I had to give the dish a grade, it would be an A-.

I cooked the chicken well, and I had plenty of fresh sage leaves to use. The only detail that wasn't quite on key was the proscuitto. It should be sliced in very thin strips, but the person at the deli counter of the grocery where I bought it sliced it at almost twice that thickness.

Here's a recipe (one of many versions) for chicken saltimbocca. I would at least double — maybe even triple — the number of sage leaves that this recipe uses. Fresh sage is amazing, and the four leaves called for in this recipe. Unless you're using very small chicken breast halves, I would also consider doubling the slices of proscuitto so that you are able to more completely cover the chicken with the proscuitto — that's what seals the chicken, keeps it from drying out and intensifies the flavors.

One other option to consider: when I am reducing the pan juices, I usually add one good squeeze of lemon into the pan.

I find it amusing that the term saltimbocca was formed from the Italian words "jumps in the mouth."

We drank a French white burgundy with the saltimbocca.

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