Literally, it is a post that is happening on Saturday evening. Get it? Bad joke I know but I am full of them because the whole day today was devoted to cleaning the house while it rained 2 plus inches. However, I am stoked! Well not really about cleaning but I am excited to put out a new recipe.
I guess you could say that this is “chicken week” but that originally was not the intent since I was thinking about finishing out my fish recipes. We can always go back to those when I am off my chicken kick (I guess my Cooking Attention Deficit Disorder (CADD) kind of kicked in.). Chicken is one of the staple proteins at my house and they are normally done in one of a few ways, fried, faux fried, baked, broiled or grilled. This particular recipe is for shallow frying and should be reasonably healthy because it uses boneless/skinless chicken breasts and olive oil.
This recipe is the product of my cooking CADD because I was thinking of one thing and watching another and came to the conclusion that they could be done together with good result. You see, I was there in this restaurant having ordered chicken over greens while thinking of other ways I could use the Prosciutto I had leftover at home and it hit me (well not really) that if you could attach the Prosciutto to one side of the chicken it would provide salt and a savory flavors which I could compliment with other parts of the meal. The result is this recipe. Oh, I can attest to the quality of this recipe because bona fide Italians who were staying at my house loved this meal.
Chicken over Greens
(makes 4 servings)
4 – Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 oz – Prosciutto (sliced very thin)
1/3 – Medium sweet onion (diced fine)
8 (or more) – Cloves garlic, (diced fine)
1 tbsp – Coarse ground black pepper (or to taste)
10 – Fresh basil leaves (fine shredded also called a chiffonade)
8 – Romaine lettuce leaves
Handful – Italian parsley (chopped fine; use dried if you must about 1 ½ tablespoons)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Balsamic vinegar (get the good stuff)
Ready – Preparing the chicken:
Pound the chicken breasts to about ¾ of an inch using the flat side of a meat tenderizing hammer. Next place thin slices of Prosciutto on the “smooth” side of the chicken breast enough to cover the entire top in about one layer. Then take the “prickly” side of the meat hammer and pound the Prosciutto on to the chicken. It should stick with no problem. Take and gently set these aside Prosciutto side up.
Set – Revving up the oil
In a large skillet, cover bottom of pan with olive oil (a little better than a third inch deep or enough that it would be up to half way up the edge of one of the pounded chicken breasts) and over low/med heat sauté onion and garlic until softened and onions become translucent. Add basil and parsley continue sautéing until basil and parsley have wilted.
Go – Cooking the chicken
Take prepared chicken breasts and place in the pan Prosciutto side down and lower heat (low – medium is good here). Now…drop your tongs and step away from the chicken! You will have to resist the urge to constantly flip the chicken breasts and will only flip them over once for this recipe. That is why the heat is kind of low. Cook these on the one side until you can see that they are almost fully cooked (about 5 to 7 minutes) you will see the top edges of the chicken breasts begin to turn lighter. After you see that they are almost done carefully flip them over to have them Prosciutto side up and complete the cooking (another 4 to 7 minutes). The chicken breasts will be done when they are firm when you press on them with the tongs. You will notice that small bits of garlic and onion will stick to the chicken and this is perfectly okay. Note: I can usually do 3 chicken breasts in my pan and set the ones that are done in the oven on warm until the others are ready to serve.
Prepare the plates
Take about 3 romaine lettuce leaves and place them flat on each plate and drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar. When each chicken breast is done place them Prosciutto side up on the lettuce.
-Meal served with either angel hair pasta dressed with just olive oil and Italian seasoning or a cold pasta salad with roasted red pepper and olives (a recipe for another time) and green beans done with onion and Portobello mushrooms.