Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sage & Prosciutto-wrapped chicken

This one is a fabulous Dean & Deluca-inspired recipe. And of all the recipes I make, this one remains almost pure, practically perfect right out of the cookbook (what a rare, and wonderful occasion!) We serve this one to our friends, and it usually is a hit. A few lessons learned the hard way: THIN pieces of chicken, that will cook quickly. THIN. If prosciutto starts to smoke or butter browns, turn down heat and cover saute pan with a lid. Your chicken is not thin enough. You lose. THIN. My other tip is do not look at this recipe and shudder at the butter required. If you're gonna do it, go all the way. Slather on that foaming, golden butter, and don't look back.

4 Chicken breasts (or 6-8 cutlets, see step 1)
salt and pepper
1 stick unsalted butter
8 whole sage leaves (1 per piece)-more if you really like sage the way I do, I'd double to 16
1/4 pound of thinly sliced prosciutto
2 eggs, beaten
8 thin slices fontina cheese

1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon fresh minced sage, or more if you, like me, can't get enough
1/2 stick of butter

1. The breasts: You want them to be thin pieces. Remove the "flap" under each fillet, and save for another use. Cut the breasts into two equal square-shaped pieces. Pound them out nice and thin- we have discovered this step is crucial, because if they are too thick, there is cooking issues later. MY new solution: just by chicken cutlets instead. Season with pepper, put aside.

2. Heat butter in pan over moderate heat. When foaming, add in the pieces of whole sage, and cook 1 min on each side. remove and place 1-2 pieces on each chicken piece, per your taste.

3. Wrap a piece of prosciutto around each chicken cutlet, and dip in the egg. Make sure there is plenty of foaming butter in the pan, and not browned. Cook chicken a few minutes on each side, until just past pink inside and golden on the outside. (If the pieces of chicken are thick, which we have had trouble with, it will take much longer to cook through, and the butter and prosciutto will brown!!)

4. Place chicken on baking sheet and cover with a piece of fontina. Place in broiler until cheese just melts, about a minute.

5. Sauce: While in broiler, take the butter and chicken bits from the pan into a sauce pot. Add in a cup of white wine, and reduce to 1/2 cup. Add in sage, and whisk in the additional butter. Adjust seasonings.

6. Serve sauce over and around chicken. We like this very rich dish with a green vegetable- usually either wilted spinach, asparagus, or bok choy. Roasted potatoes make a great side, or yams, or squash.

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