Monday, February 16, 2009

Chicken Saltimbocca with Cappellini & Roasted Artichokes

So, like I said, for Valentine's Day, I made a menu of Chicken Saltimbocca with Cappellini (angel hair pasta) and Roasted Artichokes. Saltimbocca is one of those dishes that take a few steps to make, but none of them are particularly difficult, and the end result is definitely worth the effort!

To begin with you need a few ingredients. Chicken breasts, of course. I like to slice them through the middle to make them an even thickness. Hold your hand on the breast flat, palm side down, and slice parallell to your hand until you can open the breast like a book, then finish separating into two pieces. You'll also need good Prosciutto, a good Italian cheese (I used Asiago, but you can also use Provolone), sage, flour, butter, olive oil, shallots, garlic, white wine, and chicken stock. Angel hair pasta can be purchased fresh or dried, whichever you prefer. And for the artichokes, you'll need the chokes themselves, a nice balsamic vinaigrette, lemon, basil, olive oil, more garlic and egg.

Season about 1 1/2 cups of flour with celery salt (or just salt), rubbed sage, and fresh ground white or black pepper (I used both). Dredge the chicken, dip in a beaten egg wash, then back into the flour. Don't toss the flour yet, you'll need some for later.
Heat olive oil and butter together in a large skillet. As soon as it stops sizzling, begin adding the chicken. Don't overcrowd the pan, or the chicken will be overdone before it browns. Quickly saute the chicken until both sides have good color. Don't worry about it being cooked through, as it will be finished in the oven.

As you pull the chicken from the pan, place it on a foil lined baking sheet. Top each cutlet with a slice of prosciutto. When they've all been added to the sheet, top each cutlet with a single sage leaf and a handful of shredded Asiago (or a slice of provolone).

To the skillet you sauteed the chicken in, add 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots along with 3 cloves of garlic, chopped relatively fine. Add a bit more butter, and saute until the shallots begin to caramelize. Add some of the flour that you used for the chicken--about 3 tbsp. Whisk in 1/2 cup white wine, and 1 1/2 cups chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook, whisking, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Pour over the chicken cutlets and put into a 400*f oven for 10-12 minutes, until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling. Remove from oven and let sit 5 min.
Prepare pasta as you would normally. For the artichokes, which will be roasted before and during the time you have the chicken in the oven, clean and quarter the chokes, and steam in lemon water until almost tender. Drain well. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with vinaigrette. Place in 400*f oven for 20-30 minutes, until edges have browned and flesh is tender at the heart. Prepare garlic basil aioli by combining 1 egg, 2 tbsp fresh basil, 3 cloves of garlic (peeled), salt & pepper in your blender. Slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup olive oil, and continue to process until thick and creamy. To serve, place 1/2 cup or so of pasta on the plate and add a chicken cutlet beside it. Top with the sauce from the baking sheet. Serve with the roasted artichokes and aioli.

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