22 April 2010

Double Take: Chicken Breast Saltimbocca

My kitchen is clean now. Thank you Double Take challenges. 

I have this brand-new, beautiful cookbook, and I can't bare the thought of it getting yucky just yet. So I carefully clean the entire kitchen before making a Double Take challenge. Which means my kitchen has been thoroughly cleaned four weeks in a row now. Woohoo.

This evening I made Chicken Breasts Saltimbocca. The recipe calls for bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, but chicken only comes that way if you purchase the entire chicken. Chicken breasts only come alone if they are boneless and skinless. So I was curious how I was going to make it. But then Tabitha asked me about a substitution. We have a rule about substitutions: they must be discussed in advanced and agreed upon. Tabitha was suggesting chicken thighs instead since she likes them. I decided to compromise between the recipe and Tabitha (and help myself) by suggesting a whole chicken.

So, I cut up my chicken, lifted the skin, and stuffed it with prosciutto and fresh sage. Since we've moved here, we've had a lot of prosciutto and Hubby has come to the conclusion that he doesn't like it. So he got bacon (mhmm, bacon). The recipe calls for olive oil rubbed under the skin as well, but because bacon is more fatty than prosciutto, I only added the oil to the pieces with prosciutto. The skin was then sprinkled with salt and pepper and browned in butter (mhmm, butter). (See the sage under the skin?)

But what to do with the wings? You can't easily put bacon under the skin... Ah ha! I wrapped the two wings with prosciutto and added the sage on the inside, too. Aren't I brilliant?

Into the pan! After the chicken was properly browned on both sides, I added some white wine and chicken broth. The skillet was then covered and left to simmer until the chicken was cooked through. Of course, I don't have a reasonable lid for my skillet, so I had to fall back on an old skillet-cover standby: thank you Mr. Wooden Cutting Board. (Mr. Plastic Cutting Board has the tendency to warp and melt when I use him as a cover.)

Once the chicken is done, it's sprinkled with mozzarella (it calls for shredded, I used sliced) and fresh parsley. But I couldn't help but feel that something was going to waste. That sauce! I'm a sauce girl, and the thought of letting the white wine and chicken broth go to waste was just depressing. Well, since the recipe ended there, I wasn't technically substituting anything if I reduced and thickened the sauce, right? Hubby's not a sauce-guy, so the sauce did not go directly on the chicken but was served on the side.

I served my chicken over a bed of rice, with a bit of sauce served on the side (okay, spooned liberally over my piece and not at all over Hubby's). Broccoli accompanied the meal.

So, thoughts on the recipe... we both ate it without complaints. However, there were some suggestions from both of us. The skin didn't really add anything to the dish, so I'd go boneless, skinless in the future, and wrap the chicken with the bacon (cooked prosciutto is a bit too salty for me... I much prefer it before it goes into the pot, so bacon from now on it is).

For the sauce, I removed the chicken when it was done, put it on a plate, added the cheese, and tented the plate with foil. Then, I cranked up the heat and added a bit of flour to thicken the sauce a bit more quickly (in the future, I'll do the smart thing and make a slurry with water and flour, and not just directly add flour).

Make again with bacon and boneless skinless chicken: 2 votes!

For Tabitha's take on Chicken Saltimbocca, head on over to Double the Garlic!


  1. As always, looks YUUUUMMMYYY!

  2. I like the idea of avoiding the skin by wrapping the chicken with the bacon. My concern is just will it all stay together? Also, they don't make boneless skinless thighs so I might use thighs again in the future, even though the skin is a waste other than being a flavor holder.

    I like your sauce! I agree with you all about bacon. I prefer the flavor and lack of salt bacon has in comparison to prosciutto.

  3. I would go with the bacon and skinless chicken. I do not like cooking with chicken with the skin. I realize it is a must in some recipes but if there is another way.... Sounds a lot like chicken cordon bleu just the bacon & cheese is on the outside. Let Tabitha know that Publix sometimes carries boneless skinlee thighs. I have picked them up there on several occasions.

  4. You can't buy bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts?

  5. @ Megan: Thanks!
    @ Tabs: I've seen the boneless skinless thighs on occasion, but you really have to hunt for them. I'm interested to see the sauce you come up with!
    @ Ninette: Tell me about it! It's crazy! I can get bone-in, skin-on leg quarters, and occasionally drumsticks, but no breasts!

  6. @ Aunt Vicki: Chicken Cordon Bleu! I've got an excellent recipe for that... speaking of which, it's on the calendar for tomorrow night... sounds like I need to take pictures of it!


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