Chicken Saltimbocca

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Apparently “saltimbocca” means “jumps in your mouth”.

Not a command, like “get in my belly”, but meaning something closer to “dances on the tongue”

I would say that’s true, because the combination of proscuitto, sage, and spinach makes it pop in your mouth.

I’m thinking that Saltimbocca would be an awesome restaurant name.  I can even see the design of it.  Modern Rustic.  Get in My Belly is more of a food truck name.

I’m also thinking that spinach and sage go really well together and you almost never see recipes with the two of them.

Spinach and Sage would also be a good restaurant name.

I actually went to a restaurant called “Quatro Tette” which means “Four teats”.  Or breasts.  The story behind the name is that it was opened by 2 women.  And between the 2 of them, they had 4 breasts, and that’s how it got it’s name.  There has to be more to the story, but that’s what I was told.  What a mystery!  It was in a village called Mantova.

I went to another restaurant called “Big Guy’s”.  This was in America. Once you saw the owner, it was apparent how it got it’s name.

A lot of Italian foods have names that are colorful and describe the history of the dish.  Saltimbocca is a name that seems to describe the flavor.  But even here, I think there is a bit of a mystery.  It’s origins seem clouded in history.  Some say it’s Roman, some say from Brescia, and others say that it’s popular in Switzerland.  A lot of places make it with veal, and it’s not always rolled up.  Sometimes it’s served flat with the insides of the roll now served on top.  I guess you could slap that between two slices of bread and it would be a great sandwich!

Ooh!  Another good restaurant or food truck name.  Slap Happy.  Sandwich place.  I’m on a roll…groan.  That was not intentional.  The “on a roll” pun was not intentional.  Just the way my brain is working today!  But I’m kind of giggling over here…

This dish is fairly quick to make, a little over 1/2 hour and you can cut down on the time even further by purchasing thinly sliced chicken fillets.  Just make sure to adjust the cooking times because the fillets are very thin.

Chicken Saltimbocca

2 large chicken breasts sliced sliced horizontally through the center to make 4 fillets, and pounded to a uniform thickness

5 fresh sage leaves

About 1 C baby spinach

4 slices prosciutto

fresh grated parmesiano reggiano

1/2 red pepper chopped

1 C chicken broth

1 T lemon juice

2 T olive oil

1/2 T butter

toothpicks

salt and pepper

skillet

Tongs

Wooden spoon

Heat your skillet to medium, and preheat your oven to 180 F to keep the chicken warm while you finish the sauce. Salt and pepper your chicken breasts, but go light on your salt because a lot of the ingredients already have a salty taste.  Place 1 sage leaf, a flat, even layer of spinach, and a piece of proscuitto on each breast. Honestly, a piece of proscuitto is too big for the chicken breast, so just cut or tear it to fit.  Grate some fresh parmesiano over the top.

Starting from the fat end, roll it up and secure with a toothpick.

Add your butter to the pan, and it should start to brown pretty quickly.  Then add your olive oil, swirling the pan to make sure everything is incorporated.  Place your saltimbocca in the pan, starting with the bottom of the roll.  Brown each side, which only takes 2-3 minutes per side.

Add the chicken broth, the last sage leaf and peppers to the pan, cover, and cook for about 6-8 minutes or so.  Remember, if you’re using fillets from the store they might be very thin, so the initial browning might almost cook those little guys.  Once the liquid is in the pan they could be finished in another few minutes.)

Remove the chicken from the pan and place in serving dish.  Put in the oven to keep warm.

Turn the heat up to med high or high, and use a wooden spoon to stir the sauce and scrape up anything from the bottom.  Once the liquid is reduced by about 1/3, stir in the lemon juice and take off the heat.

Remove the chicken from the oven, pour the sauce over them, grate some more parmesiano on the top and serve.  A good dessert for this dish is the lemon ricotta mousse!

 

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