By J.M. Hirsch Associated Press
This simple, one-skillet dinner needs neither much time nor skill to deliver rich, deep flavors. And it all starts with that most ubiquitous of American meats: the boneless, skinless chicken breast.
Traditional saltimbocca often is made with veal cutlets, which are pounded thin, then topped with fresh sage and prosciutto before being wrapped into bundles and seared.
My version is equally delicious, but swaps chicken for the veal. And while my version starts on the stovetop, it finishes in the oven.
This two-step cooking method not only makes it easy to ensure the meat is cooked through, it also allows you to fill the sides of the pan with cherry tomatoes, which roast nicely as the chicken finishes. The tomatoes get juicy in the oven, and produce a delicious sauce than can be spooned over the chicken.
This recipe also can be prepped ahead. Just assemble and roll the bundles, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook the next day. Either way, if you have trouble keeping your bundles rolled tight, just push a toothpick through them to hold them together until served.
Chicken saltimbocca with roasted cherry tomatoes
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
16 fresh sage leaves
8 slices prosciutto
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Carefully slice each chicken breast in half horizontally to create 2 thin halves, then use paper towels to pat them dry. One at a time, place each piece of chicken between sheets of plastic wrap (spritz the top of each piece with cooking spray before adding the top piece of wrap), then use a meat mallet or rolling pin to gently pound to an even thickness, about 1/4 inch. Season each piece of chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, then scatter some of the minced garlic over one side of each piece of chicken.
Arrange 4 sage leaves over each piece of chicken, then top with 2 slices of prosciutto. With the prosciutto and sage on the inside, roll each piece of chicken into a tight bundle.
In a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high, heat the oil. Use tongs to carefully place each bundle, seam side down, in the skillet. Brown for 3 to 5 minutes, then turn and brown for another 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and olives to the skillet, then place in the oven and roast until the bundles reach 165 degrees at the center, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Serve the chicken with the roasted tomatoes and olives.
Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 300 calories; 130 calories from fat (43 percent of total calories); 14 g fat (2.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 90 mg cholesterol; 6 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 35 g protein; 1130 mg sodium.