I feel like I’ve just come full circle. My very first post on this blog, back when I was still on blogger, was for my mother’s chicken saltimbocca. Go check it out, and mock the picture. I’ll wait, cause I have to go giggle at the picture too ;).
My sister called me a heretic for using a different recipe, and while I still have a soft spot in my stomach for my mother’s recipe I wanted to try something new. My sister doesn’t do well with change. She’s 21 and a stick in the mud. I worry for the day we’re in our sixties, she’ll be insufferable.
I kept some elements the same from my mother’s recipe and the Giada de Laurentiis recipe I used. The biggest thing is that I didn’t use prosciutto because it’s rather expensive, so I used ham like in my mother’s recipe. One thing I really liked about this recipe is that it cooks a lot faster than my mom’s recipe.
My mom’s recipe has some ground nutmeg in it which I think this recipe could definitely use so I’ll add that next time.
I’m sorry to my sisters, but I did like this recipe better than my mother’s. I liked the addition of the spinach in this recipe, but I think I’d add some panko crumbs and Parmesan to the top of the rolls to give it a nice crunch. If you want to try it on your first go and report back, I’d add it after cooking all the sides.
To pound the chicken breasts I placed them in a plastic bag – the bread kind that don’t have zip lock at the top, cause I can just see chicken parts getting stuck in the lock strip. Ew. After placing them in the bag I pounded the bajesus out of them with a rolling pin. Cause nothing makes you feel better after a long day than beating some chicken with a rolling pin. Try it, you’ll see.
I also added a whole bunch of fresh herbs, since I now have a spiffy herb garden, mushrooms, capers and squeeze of lemon just to the pan sauce. Instead of neatly cutting the herbs, I rather haphazardly cut them with kitchen shears into the pan during the last few minutes of cooking.
I served some lemon dill basmati rice along side of it and the pan sauce tasted amazing over it. When I make this next in addition to the panko crumb topping, I think I’ll try it with the prosciutto, just to see the difference. I’m also giong to try pounding the chicken thinner to make it easier to roll.
If you don’t want to try your hand at rolling the chicken, just fold it in half and put a tooth pick through it.
Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis
6 (3 ounce) chicken cutlets or breasts pounded thin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 paper-thin slices prosciutto slices of ham
1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
Freshly grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 (14-ounce) can low-salt chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon basil, oregano, taragon
Panko Crumbs and extra grated Parmesan cheese
Place chicken breasts or cutlets in a plastic bag and pound until it has reached an even thinness. Repeat the process for each piece of chicken. Squeeze out the water from the frozen chopped spinach. Place the spinach in a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and a little grated nutmeg. Place a piece of ham (or prosciutto) on the now thin chicken breast/cutlet, spread some of the spinach on to the chicken then sprinkle some of the parmesan over it. Roll each chicken up and stick a few toothpicks through it. Or if you don’t want to roll it up, fold in half and stick a toothpick through it. Repeat for each chicken piece.
Warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat. Place the chicken in the pan and cook until each side is browned, about 2 minutes per side. Pour in broth and mushrooms, try to scrape the bits from the bottom of the pan. (If you’re feeling adventurous – I’d now carefully sprinkle the panko crumbs and parmesan cheese mixture over the chicken). Bring the broth to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cover for 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove chicken from pan and place in a serving dish. Return heat to high and add capers and herbs to the broth. Continue to cook until the broth has reduced to 2/3 of a cup – about 5 minutes. Taste and season again with salt and pepper if needed. Pour over chicken and then serve spooning the pan sauce over the chicken on the plates.