Prosciutto-wrapped chicken with ricotta and sage

The fare is fowl

Originally appeared in the January 27, 2011 edition of the Southside Times.

In certain critical kitchen cliques, chicken has a reputation for being boring, insipidly safe, and purported to be the culprit of many dull dishes.  But I’m of the mind that chicken’s only as mediocre as the cook caring for the recipe—the maestro in charge of the music, in other words.

Take this week’s recipe.  There are a scant number of ingredients, sure; but they’re intended to be a collaboration, both complimenting and contrasting to create a humble little harmony.  Read more here:The chicken breasts are wrapped with prosciutto, an air-dried Italian-style ham which originated in the region of Parma (prosciutto’s also known as “Parma ham”)—the same locale that gives Parmesan cheese its name.  And speaking of cheese, one of the other highlights is the creamy ricotta, whose mild sweetness is a wise counterbalance to the stoutly-salty prosciutto.

Ricotta is easy to find at your local market; and if you have trouble tracking down prosciutto in the grocery’s specialty section, just ask the clerk at the deli, Parma ham is probably in the back, ready to be sliced.  So forget the chicken myths.  With some simple orchestration, poultry can be anything but pedestrian.

Prosciutto-wrapped chicken with ricotta and sage

Serves 4

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 8 thin slices of prosciutto
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 5-6 tablespoons ricotta cheese
  • To taste, kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • As needed, oil for pan-searing

1.  Preheat oven to 375° F.  Place ricotta in a medium bowl.  Mince four of the sage leaves, and mix it in with the ricotta.  Season to taste.  Butterfly the chicken breasts:  along one side of the breasts, cut long slits without completely slicing through the chicken; open them up and lay them flat (with smooth, skin-side down).  Spoon half the ricotta mixture onto inside of chicken and spread out.  Roll up the chicken, enclosing the cheese filling.

2.  On a clean work surface, unroll a sheet of plastic wrap.  Place four slices of prosciutto (shingled slightly to overlap) on plastic wrap, then place chicken on top of prosciutto.  Place rolled chicken breast on prosciutto, and wrap the prosciutto around the chicken.  Use the sheet of plastic to wrap and tighten the stuffed breast.  Repeat steps for the second breast, and allow them to rest for a couple hours (this will firm them up a bit).

3.  In a medium sauté pan, heat oil to medium-high.  Unwrap chicken and place in pan, searing the wrapped breasts on all sides until prosciutto is seared and crispy.  When both stuffed breasts are seared, transfer to an roasting dish and cook in a 375° F oven for fifteen minutes or until chicken feels firm when pressed.  After removing chicken from oven, cover with aluminum foil and allow meat to rest for about ten minutes before slicing and serving.

Published in: on January 27, 2011 at 5:15 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I have used this twice for company–everyone loved it and was inpressed. Thanks!

    • Thanks for the note, Susan! And I’m pleased to hear you’ve had some culinary success with this dish.

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