The players from one Chicken Saltimbocca recipe to another differ very little. They are chicken breasts seasoned with fresh sage and stacked with prosciutto, (Italian thin-sliced ham) mozzarella cheese, and often spinach, served with a flavorful wine and/or broth reduction.
Sometimes the combo is cooked flat, however, and sometimes rolled up, and sometimes goodies like mushrooms, capers, or shallots are added. But "rolling" rocks when it comes to fitting the creation into a skillet or onto a serving platter.
For obvious reasons, saltimbocca, which means "jump into the mouth," is a fitting name for this classic Italian dish.
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Salt and pepper
6 thin slices prosciutto
6 large sage leaves
6 thin slices Mozzarella cheese
1/4 pound fresh spinach leaves, stems removed (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup Marsala wine or 1 cup dry white wine plus 2 teaspoons Brandy
1/2 cup chicken broth
Gently pound the chicken breasts with a kitchen mallet until they are an even 1/4" thickness. Salt and pepper them to taste on both sides. Place a sage leaf in the center of each piece and top with a layer of spinach leaves and a slice of cheese.
Lay out a slice of prosciutto, folding it in half if necessary to roughly the size of the chicken. Lay a piece of chicken on top. Roll them up together, starting with the narrow end, and secure with a toothpick. (If you prefer, the prosciutto can go on top of the stack and be rolled into the center of the saltimbocca.)
Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet until medium-hot. Place the rolled chicken pieces in the skillet and cook until the chicken feels firm to the touch and the prosciutto (or chicken) is nicely browned on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the saltimbocca to a serving platter and keep warm.
Now deglaze the pan. Turn the heat up to high. Pour in the wine and broth, bringing the liquid to a boil and scraping the pan to incorporate any flavorful browned bits into the sauce. Boil until the liquid is reduced by half or more, thickened. Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Pour the wine sauce over the saltimbocca and serve immediately.
The Chicken Saltimbocca recipe serves 6 but if you have more guests you can pretty much figure 1 of everything per guest and adjust the sauce ingredients up a little bit.
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