Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Breasts

Prosciutto-wrapped chicken breasts.

Prosciutto-wrapped chicken breasts.

It seems we can never get enough recipes for chicken dishes.  Chicken breasts are the most popular cut of chicken on the market, but because there is little to no fat on chicken breasts, you must be watchful when cooking them or they will be dry.  This is a recurring problem especially when cooking in dry heat, baked for instance.  That’s why when I saw this recipe I was eager to try it, because of the prosciutto that is used to wrap the chicken.

This recipe dresses up boneless chicken breasts by topping them with thinly sliced tomatoes, basil, prosciutto, and melted cheese.  Prosciutto is a very thin cut of Italian ham, that can be cooked crisp like bacon.  When used to wrap a piece of chicken breast, it bathes the meat with its juicy saltiness, and keeps the chicken moist.  The added tomato slices add to that juiciness, basil contributes fresh flavor with melted cheese on top.  Well, what I can I say about melted cheese that I haven’t already said a million times.  You know what I mean, and I know you love it as much as I do!!!

  YUM!

YUM!

This is such an easy, satisfying entree.  The combination of flavors seemed just right.  It can be served with a side of pasta with marinara sauce and a tossed salad, or as I have done, with a veggie casserole, and some pasta with marinara sauce.

PROSCIUTTO-WRAPPED CHICKEN BREASTS

Servings:   4

Ingredients:

3 large pieces of chicken, so I cut 2 of them in half.

3 large pieces of chicken, so I cut 2 of them in half.

  • 4  boneless, skinless, chicken breasts halves (about 1 pound) My package of chicken contained 3 large chicken breasts, so I cut 2 of them in half for this dish.
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4  thin slices prosciutto
  • 8  large basil leaves
  • 2  plum tomatoes, very thinly sliced
  • 4  thin slices Asiago ( or provolone or mozzarella ) cheese  ( I used provolone.)

Preparation:

1.  Preheat the oven to 375*F.  Prepare a shallow baking dish – large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer–with non-stick spray.

2.  Combine the flour, salt, garlic powder and a few grinds of black pepper in a shallow dish.  Lightly dredge the chicken in the mixture.  Shake off the excess and set aside.

3.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the chicken in a single layer and cook until light golden brown and just cooked through, 2 – 3 minutes per side (don’t over cook).  Remove from the heat.

4.  Separate the slices of prosciutto and lay them out on a flat surface.  Center a piece of chicken crosswise over each slice.  Arrange several slices of tomato on each chicken breast, then add 2 basil leaves.  Wrap the ends of the prosciutto up around the chicken and toppings and press gently to seal.

Place tomato slices and basil on top of chicken, then wrap prosciutto over the top.

Place tomato slices and basil on top of chicken, then wrap prosciutto over the top.

5.  Carefully transfer the chicken to the prepared baking dish.  Top each piece of chicken with a thin slice of cheese.

6.  Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the cheese is nicely melted.

Bake till cheese is nicely melted.

Bake till cheese is nicely melted.

Remove and serve with side dishes as desired.

Served with pasta and a vegetable casserole.

Served with pasta and a vegetable casserole.

Note:  For best results, choose relatively small chicken breasts and be sure that you don’t overcook them initially because the extra time in the oven could make them a little dry.

For the cheese:  Asiago is the favored choice for this dish because its tangy flavor complements the saltiness of the prosciutto very nicely, but don’t hesitate to substitute  with mozzarella or provolone.

SOURCE:  My Gourmet Connection

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Chicken Roulade

Chicken Roulade served over fettuccine.

Chicken Roulade served over fettuccine.

I would hazard a guess that chicken in some form is on your table at least once a week, ( with the exception of non-meat eaters).  I know its on our menu on a regular basis;  so with that amount of frequency I am always on the lookout for a new way to cook it.  I’m not a person who is satisfied with the same old, same old.  Variety is the spice of my life.  Therefore when I came across this recipe which first of all was described as “quick and easy”, but secondly called for a filling rolled up in a boneless chicken breast I was immediately interested.

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Roulade  is a French term for a thin cut of meat that is stuffed, rolled, then browned before being roasted or braised.  In this case the stuffing consists of a garlic and herb spreadable cheese and some prosciutto. rolled up inside a thinly pounded boneless chicken breast.  The chicken is browned, then braised in a light wine sauce and served over fettuccine.  Let’s face it sometimes white meat chicken can be pretty bland, but the flavors in the filling here were a nice contrast to the chicken;  a little salty,  a little smoky, and a little cheesy.  All in all I think this chicken dish is one you would be proud to serve to guests.

While the recipe was not as quick and easy as the recipe would lead you to expect, it certainly was not hard, nor lengthy to prepare.  Start by pounding the chicken breasts well between two sheets of plastic wrap,  then spread each one with the mixture of herbed cheese and chopped prosciutto.  Roll up and tie in a couple places with kitchen twine to keep them rolled while you brown them, then add a little wine to braise/cook them to completion.  While this is going on, boil a pot of water and cook the fettuccine.  Make a salad to go with it and your meal is complete.  I would serve this to guests because when plated it is quite impressive, and besides that it tastes really good!

Please note that in my version I used Laughing Cow garlic and herb wedges, because I couldn’t find a spreadable cheese like the one called for.  My filling was more crumbly than spreadable but it worked out well all the same, and kind of melted together as it cooked.

CHICKEN ROULADE WITH HERBED CHEESE AND PROSCIUTTO

SERVINGS      4

INGREDIENTS

An herb and garlic cheese and prosciutto make the filling.

An herb and garlic cheese and prosciutto make the filling.

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves  (I only had three.) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons spreadable light garlic and herb cheese ( such as Alouette Light)
  • 2 ounces prosciutto, chopped
  • 8 ounces uncooked fettuccine
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped flat-leat parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons EVOO, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine
  • 2 Tablespoons water

1.  Place each chicken breast half between  2 sheets of plastic wrap; pound each piece to 1/4 inch thickness using a meat mallet.  Sprinkle both sides of chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.

Pound chicken out to about 1/4 inch thickness.

Pound chicken out to about 1/4 inch thickness.

2.  Combine cheese and prosciutto in a small bowl.  Spread  1  1/2 teaspoon cheese mixture over each breast half.

Spread a small amount of filling on each chicken breast.

Spread a small amount of filling on each chicken breast.

Roll up chicken, jelly-roll fashion, starting with narrow end.  Secure chicken rolls in several places with twine.  Set aside.

Rolled, tied and ready for browning.

Rolled, tied and ready for browning.

3.  Meanwhile start a pot of salted water to boiling and cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain well Place pasta in a large bowl.  Sprinkle with parsley and drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil;  toss gently to coat.  Cover and keep warm.

4.  Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Place  chicken in pan, and cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides.

Brown well before adding wine and water.

Brown well before adding wine and water.

Add wine and water.  Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 6 minutes more or until chicken is done.  Remove chicken from pan, and let stand 2 minutes.  Remove twine, and cut each roulade crosswise into 5 equal pieces.

5.  To serve:  place about 1 cup pasta mixture on each of 4 plates; top each with 5 pieces roulade.  Serve immediately.

Plate and serve with a green salad.

Plated and served with a green salad.

I felt that this meal needed some sort of green vegetable to complete it, so I made a spinach salad to go along with it.

Since I made this whole recipe for only 2 of us, we had chicken left over which I placed on top of a mixed garden salad for lunch the next day.  A delicious lunch and great way to use up the chicken.

SOURCE:    Cooks Illustrated