Tuesday, August 4, 2009

when in rome...

A few years ago, the carnivore and I took a trip to Rome. Before we left, he enforced an edict - I was not allowed to say, "But we just had just had Italian food." See, the carnivore could eat Italian every night of the week. He has a strong Italian genetic background, so it is no real surprise. I, on the other hand, like it about once a week. So sometimes I compromise and make him an Italian main dish, while I indulge in something super vegetarian - like spinach patties. On this night, I attempted to recreate his favorite meal from Rome and probably ever, saltimbocca (he's exact quote was "I could die now that I have eaten this.") Tricky, I know, but I thought I would give it a shot anyway. The carnivore actually found this recipe at Whole Foods.

For this Roman style chicken you will need:
4 boneless, skinless chicken cutlets
Salt and black pepper
8 thin slices prosciutto
8 sage leaves, more for garnish
3/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Lemon wedges

To make the chicken, start by sprinkling each cutlet lightly with salt and pepper. Then top each breast with a slice of prosciutto and a few sage leafs. Next you place the chicken cutlets between 2 sheets of waxed paper and gently pound cutlets to an even 1/4-inch thickness, pounding the prosciutto and sage into the chicken, with a rolling pin. Then spread the flour on a shallow plate and dip the chicken in it, lightly coating both sides. Heat a tablespoon of butter and the olive oil in a large pan. When the butter begins to foam, add the cutlets to the pan, prosciutto side down. Cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, turning once, until lightly browned and cooked through. Transfer to a platter and cover to keep warm. Then add the wine to the hot pan and stir with a wooden spoon to loosen all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the wine reduce by half, then add the chicken broth and reduce again. Remove the pan from the heat and swirl in remaining tablespoon of butter. Add in a bit of salt and pepper, and then pour over the reserved chicken breasts. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

The carnivore ate it up. I mean, it does have two kinds of meat on it. And while I know it probably doesn't hold a candle to his meal in Rome, I know it satisfied his Italian craving for at least a few nights.

menu ideas:
For the carnivore, I served this saltimbocca with sauteed green beans and hashbrowns (because they aren't just for the breakfast plate people). I made spinach patties for my main dish with the same sides.

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