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Chicken saltimbocca

I actually cooked this dish over a week ago, but didn’t get the chance to blog about it until today.  Hubs and I have been busy trying to clean up our little rental and make it more livable.  Maybe then I won’t want to buy a house so much.  We got a new mirror and entry table for our living room, got rid of some other stuff, and all in all, it looks pretty nice and open now.

Now on to the food.  Giada’s recipes never fail me and this one definitely did not disappoint.  Chicken Saltimbocca in panI was looking for a new way to cook chicken and as it turns out, I had all the ingredients on hand to make chicken saltimbocca.  That rarely happens for any dish.

While a bit labor intensive, this dish is fun to make.  And once you get the hang of it, you can run it like an assembly line and speed up the process a bit.

And yes, I used toothpicks from Maggiano’s to secure the chicken, since I couldn’t find regular ones.  I won’t do that again.  The plastic, of course, didn’t hold up very well and I ended up throwing them away after the meal.  Next time, wood toothpicks for sure.

The finished product not only looked beautiful on the plate, but tasted amazing as well.  The swirls of dark green spinach, followed with the thin pink line of prosciutto, the melted cheese, and then surrounded with flavorful white chicken…gorgeous!  By searing the chicken on both sides, you also achieve a contrast in textures from the outer crisp chicken skin to the soft spinach leaves on the inside.

This dish is definitely a winner.  Days after the last of the chicken saltimbocca was gone, my husband was still talking about it.  Guess that means I gotta make it again.  😉

Chicken Saltimbocca, from Everyday Italian, by Giada de Laurentiis

1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
3 T. olive oil
1 1/4 t. salt, plus more to taste
1 t. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
6 chicken cutlets (3 ounces each), pounded to flatten evenly
6 paper-thin slices of prosciutto
1/4 c. freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
1 (14-ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 T. fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

Squeeze the frozen spinach to remove all excess water.  In a small bowl, toss the spinach with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.

Place the chicken cutlets flat on a work surface.  Sprinkle both sides of the chicken cutlet with salt and pepper.  Lay 1 slice of prosciutto on each chicken cutlet.  Spread an even layer of spinach on top of the prosciutto, then sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese.  Beginning at the short taped end of the chicken, roll up each cutlet (as with a jelly roll).  Secure with a toothpick.

In a large, heavy skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over high heat.  When the oil is hot, add the chicken rolls and sear for 2 minutes on each side, until they are golden brown.  Add the broth and lemon juice, bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, approximately 4 minutes (for me, it was more like 10 minutes).

Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.  Increase the heat to high and cook the sauce for approximately 5 minutes, until it is reduced to about 2/3 cup.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Drizzle the sauce over the chicken and serve.

Serves 6.