Last time I talked about the wonderful cured meats at Roma Imports in Tucson. Today we are going to start with a recipe for chicken using their fabulous prosciutto and provolone cheese.
CHICKEN STUFFED WITH ARUGULA
AND PROVOLONE WRAPPED IN PROSCIUTTO
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thinly to about 1/4 inch
2 cups arugula
12 thin slices provolone
8 slices prosciutto
Olive oil for sauting
Pound the chicken breasts so they are an even 1/4 inch, or simply buy the skinny ones prepared at your grocery store. Liberally salt and pepper both sides of the chicken. Spread 1/2 cup of arugula over each breast. Top with 3 slices of provolone. Roll chicken tightly the long way and wrap two slices of prosciutto around the rolled chicken breast overlapping the prosciutto so it sticks together. Prosciutto has a little stretch to it so you can pull it to cover the entire piece of chicken. No need to tie as the prosciutto holds together nicely. Place chicken seam side down in a shallow baking dish. This can be prepared in the morning. If you prepare ahead, bring to room temp before proceeding.
Place a medium skillet over high heat and heat 1 Tbsp. oil until nearly smoking. Saute one chicken breast at a time until prosciutto is nicely browned. The oil tends to splash up so watch your eyes. Add more oil if necessary as you brown all chicken breasts.
Once you have browned all 4 chicken breasts place back in shallow baking pan and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Thermometer should read 165. Slice chicken breasts in half to serve.
I served with lightly steamed summer squash, asparagus and cauliflower rice.
Next, I’m going to share an old classic recipe for chicken. No one seems completely sure where this dish originated; possibly London, Belgium or New York. Earliest mention I could find of it was 1914, but it gained popularity in the 40’s through 1960. In New York it was often prepared tableside and flambeed as the grand finale. Supposedly it is named after the Roman Goddess Diana or Diane who was the Goddess of the Hunt, but there is also much disagreement on this. Originally it was made with venison and for many years, and often today, with steak. I am sure at New York’s finest restaurants they would use steak, not chicken! A simple, luscious lemony sauce flavored with Dijon mustard, chives or scallions and a hint of brandy is what makes this dish so special.
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp. salt
l/4 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. chopped chives or scallion tops
3 Tbsp. chopped parsley
Juice of 1/2 lemon (I used a bit more.)
2 Tbsp. brandy or cognac (I used E&J Grand Blue. Inexpensive and lovely brandy.)
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup chicken broth
Place chicken breast halves between sheets of plastic wrap. Pound slightly with mallet or rolling pin. You don’t want them as thin as in the recipe above, but do want them to be an even thickness. Liberally salt and pepper both sides of chicken breasts. Heat 1 Tbsp. each of olive oil and butter in a large skillet. Cook chicken over high heat for 4 minutes per side. Do not overcook or they will dry out. You can always use a meat thermometer to make sure they are done. 165 is the desired temp. And remember they will continue to cook a bit more so if only at 160 degrees they are fine. Transfer to warm platter. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm while making sauce.
Reduce heat and to the pan you cooked the chicken in, add chives or green onions, lemon juice, brandy, parsley and mustard scraping up all chicken bits. Cook for a few seconds briskly whisking all ingredients. Whisk in chicken broth. Whisk in remaining butter and oil. Check seasoning. Original recipe did not call for it, but I needed to add 1/2 tsp. of salt to the sauce and a dash of white pepper. Pour sauce over chicken and serve immediately. If you have not had this dish, once you do, you will see why it became ‘Classic Continental Cuisine’!
THAT’S IT FOR TODAY!
NEXT WEEK WE CELEBRATE
THE AUTUMNAL EQUINOX!