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Original Message
"OTCC: Chicken Saltimbocca accompanied by Parmesan Orzo Pilaf."
Posted by thndrkttn on 03-05-10 at 09:08 AM
LAST EDITED ON 03-09-10 AT 07:53 AM (EST)

Saltimbocca is an Italian word meaning "jump in the mouth" and is the name of a Roman dish classically made with veal, prosciutto, and sage but we’re using chicken instead. Feel free to make it with veal if you choose.

I chose this dish because when I lived in NYC, this was my favorite dinner. Especially at little place on the upper west side that serves northern Italian cuisine. Mmmmm! I searched and searched for a recipe that mirrored what I had there but couldn’t find one so DH and I adapted our own.

Note: You will see a lemon in the picture which we did use. However, the lemon juice completely overpowered the sauce so either I wouldn’t use it all or use is sparingly.


Four 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, butterflied and lightly pounded
1/8 pound of thinly sliced prosciutto (Don’t have the deli shave it! Thinly sliced!!!)
8 whole large sage leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (in addition to the 8 large leaves)
2-3 cups of baby spinach
1 cup chopped tomatoes (I used Romas)
1/2 - 1 teaspoon of chopped garlic. (Use your discrection.)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
8 ounces of fresh mozzarella (or four slices of provolone)
1 cup white wine (variable in amount)
1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth (variable in amount)
All-purpose flour
Salt and ground pepper

1. Flatten chicken breasts between plastic wrap. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place 1-2 sage leaves on each breast. Top with a slice of prosciutto, trimming it to fit. Press the prosciutto to help it adhere to the chicken. Flour both sides of the chicken, shaking off the excess.

2. Heat a large skillet. Add the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the breasts, prosciutto side up, and cook over high heat until nearly cooked through, about 3 minutes. Turn the chicken and cook just until the prosciutto begins to shrink, about 1 minute. Transfer the chicken to a covered dish and keep warm.

3. Add the remaining butter to the skillet. Add the wine and cook over high heat until reduced by half, 2 minutes. Add the stock and chopped sage and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half, roughly 3 minutes. If you want more sauce, go ahead and get after it.

4. In a separate skillet, add oil and garlic. Sautee garlic for two minutes and add chopped tomatoes and spinach. Sautee and until cooked. Remove from heat.

Now there’s two ways to finish this up. I put a serving of tomatoes and spinach on top of each breast (see pic) and then placed the fresh mozz on top of that. Place under broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly.

The other way, which I wish I had done, was place the mozz directly on the chicken (without the spinach and tomatoes) and broil. To plate, place a serving of spinach and tomatoes on the plate and place chicken breast on top. Pour sauce over top and serve. I think the presentation of this way FAR outweighs how I did it.

Parmesan Orzo Pilaf
3 1/4 cups low salt chicken broth
1 pound orzo
5 green onions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring broth to boil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Mix in orzo and simmer uncovered until just tender but still firm to bite and some broth still remains, stirring occasionally.

2. Remove from heat. Add green onions and cheese and stir to blend. Season pilaf to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Rewarm over low heat, if necessary, and mix in more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if pilaf is dry. Transfer to large bowl and serve.

Pics! The last pic sucks. All that work and I plate it wrong. We had company come over for dinner at the last moment. They had arrived as we were finishing up and I had no time to set up the money shot. Bummer.


Sage from my neighbor’s garden:


Pounding out chicken:

Layering chicken with ingredients:


Chicken cooking:

Chicken finished cooking:

Spinach, tomatoes , olive oil and garlic.

Layering spinach, tomatoes on chicken.

Sauce cooking:

Orzo ingredients.

Orzo cooking.

Orzo finished.

And finished product. It tastes much better than it looks in the picture.


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