Saturday, June 4, 2011

Chicken with Prosciutto and Parmesan


British chef Jamie Oliver has become a champion of simple but tasty and unprocessed food, in schools and homes, both in the UK and in the USA. His website and his books are a great source of easy but delicious recipes, and I've found myself turning to them again and again when time is tight and inspiration is lacking.

One recent weekday I was faced with a package of boneless chicken breasts. None of my usual standby recipes appealed to me, but Jamie's recipe Parmesan Chicken Breasts with Crispy Posh Ham caught my attention, and I decided to give it a try.

n.o.e.'s notes:

- You can find the recipe here

- I try to keep a package of Prosciutto in the freezer; it's wonderful for draping over ripe cantaloupe or jazzing up a salad. It also comes in handy for this recipe!

- I have a bad attitude about pounding chicken breasts. Although I know that it keeps them tender and makes them a uniform thickness so that they cook more evenly, I always dread pounding them. And every time, I realize that it wasn't so bad after all.

- The recipe is a snap and introduced me to a new technique for pounding chicken breasts. First you score one side of the meat and sprinkle it with seasonings and grated parmesan cheese, then lay sliced prosciutto or ham over the top. Then cover with a bit of plastic wrap and pound the breasts. Not only does the pounding thin the meat, it also imbeds the seasoning and the cheese into the meat and adheres the ham to the surface of the chicken.

- The chicken could be prepared in advance and cooked at the last minute. After a quick pan-saute, the chicken is ready to eat.

the verdict:

After I cooked the chicken and plated it, I realized how pretty it was, and I was a little regretful that I was wasting it on a weeknight dinner. It would be perfect for company. You absolutely cannot tell from looking or tasting how easy this was to make. The salty ham was a great counterpoint to the chicken, and the cheese and the thyme added tons of savory flavors.

3 comments:

Tracey said...

I absolutely have to make this for Shane sometime - he'd love it! I wish I liked prosciutto as it shows up in several recipes that otherwise sound amazing to me.

Kayte said...

"Wasting it on a weeknight dinner"...what is that all about? You are too funny. This looks delightful and I think the guys would be very appreciative of this one so I should bookmark it now.

spike. said...

I love Jamie Oliver's recipes and this one looks perfect. You need a beautiful meal on a week night sometimes!