Prep Time  15minutes
Cook Time  25minutes
Total Time  40minutes

Saltimbocca

Dave Beaulieu June 28th, 2013

Saltimbocca, in Italian, means "jumps in the mouth", and after tasting this chicken saltimbocca you'll understand why.  Traditionally, the recipe is made with veal, but because chicken is easier to get and a bit healthier, I usually make it using boneless skinless chicken breasts.  Each piece of chicken is covered with a thin layer of prosciutto ham, and some sage leaves before being seared in the pan.  I think make a simple, lemon sauce, that adds some acidity and brightness to the dish.  It's one of my favorites and I think you'll love it!

Recipe Overview and Keys to Success

To make the best Saltimbocca, just make sure to do the following:

  1. Pound out the chicken breasts to make them uniformly thick, about 1/2 to 1 inch across
  2. Use a good quality prosciutto, there are many versions out there, from an Italian deli will generally be the best
  3. After laying the prosciutto & sage on the chicken, use the back of chef (or other large knife) to gently tap the ham onto the chicken, that will help it adhere during the cooking process
  4. Cook the prosciutto side of the chicken first, that will also help it adhere to the chicken, handle the chicken as little as possible when cooking, and turn them over gently to make sure everything stays together
Ingredients
  • 2 Chicken breasts
  • ~10 sage leaves
  • 2 thinly slices pieces of prosciutto
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper
Recipe for Saltimbocca (for 2)
  • Pound out two chicken breasts until they are about 1/2 inch thick & season both slides with salt and pepper
  • Lay 2 – 3 sage leaves on each chicken breast, and then a slice of thinly cut prosciutto on each chicken breast
  • Use the back of a knife to tap (like a drum) on the prosciutto side of the chicken, which will help press it into the flesh, and make it adhere better during the cooking process
  • Spread the flour out on a plate or shallow dish, and holding the chicken gently so as not to knock off the flour, prosciutto or sage, dredge the chicken in the flour, ham side first, then the second side.  Set the chicken aside
  • Heat a large (I like non-stick for this recipe) sauté pan over medium high heat until it's up to temperature, then add half the butter and olive oil
  • Once the butter is melted, add the chicken, prosciutto side down, and sauté for 3 – 4 minutes, without moving or touching, until the sides of the chicken start to turn opaque
  • Gently slide a spatula under the chicken, then gingerly flip the breasts over (use a couple fingers on top of the chicken to assist in the flip) and sear the other side until cooked through; again about 3 – 4minutes
  • Remove the chicken once cooked and keep in a warm place
  • Turn the heat all the way up to high, and add the garlic to the pan to sauté for about 30 – 60 seconds
  • Add the white wine and reduce by half
  • Add the chicken stock, bring back to a boil and reduce by half
  • Add a small squeeze of lemon juice, and the remaining sage leaves, and continue to reduce for another minute or so
  • Turn off the heat, add the butter and stir it in to thicken the sauce.  Taste and add salt and pepper if needed
  • Plate up the saltimbocca with a bit of the sauce spooned over the top and enjoy!
Wine Recommendation 

While in all cases, I say drink the wine you like best, I think a Pinot Grigio would go really well with chicken saltimbocca.  The white wine has a good amount of acid, making it food friendly, and the citrus notes will offer a nice counter point to the salty prosciutto and savory sage leaves – not too mention the slightly lemony sauce.  Hope you enjoy it!

Saltimbocca

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