6 September 2009

Chicken Saltimbocca with Garden Pea Mash

Back in the '70's recipes like this were really popular. Almost every restaurant served Chicken Kiev or Saltimbocca in one form or another. I like Saltimbocca because it's so easy to make and hits all the right spots. "Saltimbocca" is Italian for "leaps into the mouth." It's a great description!! The recipe is sweet, salty and savory all at once. Saltimbocca is one of those classic Roman dishes usually reserved for veal, but works really well with chicken as well.

While it might sound like a fancy Ferrari sports car kind of dish, it’s actually an easy laidback Vespa kind of recipe... one that is ready in less than 30 minutes and perfect for weeknight family dinners or for guests on the weekend. I served it with some garlic/herb mashed potatoes and a pea mash that was quick and easy. I would definitely make this dish again but for a nicer presentation, quicker cooking time and more uniform cooking distribution I would use thin chicken cutlets. Just pound those babies with a meat mallet and release your inner frustrations!!! Almost as therapeutic and satisfying as eating this delicious combination of flavours in the saltimbocca itself.

Use Italian proscuitto for its silky butteriness and light salty flavour.

**Chicken Saltimboca with Garden Pea Mash**

Printable Recipe

¼ cup all-purpose flour
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 fresh whole sage leaves
4 (6 to 8 ounces each) chicken cutlets
4 slices (3 ounces) thinly-sliced proscuitto
4 slices buffalo mozzarella
Juice of 1 lemon
4 sage leaves, chopped
4 teaspoons olive oil
¾ cup dry white wine
1/3 cup reduced-sodium canned chicken broth
1 tablespoon cold butter

Garden Pea Mash

1/3 cup vegetable stock
400g frozen or fresh garden peas
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
small bunch basil, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a shallow bowl, stir together flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
Lay one sage leaf lengthwise on each cutlet, then wrap a prosciutto slice around middle of each cutlet, encasing sage. Flatten with the palm of your hand to help prosciutto adhere to the chicken. Dredge cutlets in seasoned flour; tap off excess.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Cook 2 cutlets until golden-brown and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove cutlets and keep warm. Repeat with remaining 2 teaspoons oil and remaining 2 cutlets. Put a slice of fresh mozzarella on top of each chicken breast and flash under the grill for two minutes.

While the chicken is under the grill, add wine and broth to skillet; cook over high heat until reduced by three-quarters, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice. Remove from heat; let cook 1 minute. Add butter and minced sage ; stir until butter is melted, about 30 seconds.

For the pea and basil mash, bring the stock to the boil and add the peas and red onion. Cook for 3-4 minutes until just tender. Place in a food processor with the garlic and basil and blend roughly. Stir in the olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. To serve place a heap of the pea mash in the centre of the plate. Place the chicken on top.

Spoon sauce over cutlets; serve immediately.

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  1. aaah! The memories of saltimbocca! It's one of those classics that never goes away! Great job Val! I also love the pea mash...another one of my faves!

  2. I've lately been in an Italian foods mood, helped greatly by several outings to fabulous restaurants this holiday.

    This saltimbocca can leap into my plate and then into my mouth at any time.


  3. No one's blog makes me salivate like yours does Bellini! Seriously, I swear we have to have some kind of long lost relative connection because I love your food so much!

    I didn't know you loved cooking classes so much! We are heading to Asia at the end of the month and my sweet husband just incorporated some classes into our tour for me when we are in Vietnam, I can't wait! Wish you could come with me!

  4. Vall love your header with this pics you add! look lovely!!
    An I love this delicious dish with chicken, I love photo too! xxgloria
    Mozarella is one of my favorites,really.

  5. Saltimbocca remains completely unknown in Greece, but it is such an nice way to enjoy chicken. And the pea mash is quite a healthy alternative to potatoes and much lighter too!

  6. Those peas look delicious! I like this combo!



  7. I love saltimbocca at restaurants! Now I can try it at home. Thanks!

  8. I love easy to make recipes! Especially when they look fancy restaurant prepared.

  9. I actually developed a preference to pork saltimbocca not too long ago, but I love the chicken version also. A lot of people don't realize how easy making saltimbocca really is, probably because it sounds/looks so fancy. I'm loving the sound of that pea mash!

  10. Val,
    This chicken has my husband's name written all over it. Not only is he half Italian but he loves Proscuitto. I've never tried to make this type of chicken dish before. On my list to try.

  11. I was eyeing some saltimbocca on a menu the other night! I might just have to make it at home instead, looks delicious! And I'm loving those peas...I've never had anything like them, but I love peas! What a great side dish for the chicken!

  12. I love the balance between the salty saltimbocca and the sweetness of the garden pea mash!!!

  13. Yes it will leap...very nice presentation and the peas mash too, yum.

  14. Looks fantastic! I wish some would jump into my mouth!

  15. Everything you make looks so fabulous Val.

  16. I have to say that I would enjoy eating your dish. It's beautiful.

  17. I've never made saltimbocca but I know I would love it with the proscuitto and cheese.

    It seems that in the '70's green peas were a popular side dish and served with just about everything. I tend to forget them sometimes. I always have them in the freezer and they cook in minutes. I like the addition of the basil.

  18. hahahaha you're right, this is quite the retro recipe! but it was popular back then for a reason, it's delicious! I love the garden pea mash. even the name sounds cute and appetizing!

  19. Chicken saltimbocca sounds excellent! Wonderful with the garden pea mash!

  20. Wow, Val, I haven't had Saltimboca in ages! I bet it was awesome with the pea mash!

  21. The garden pea mash sounds wonderful!Love the melted mozzarella on the chicken.

  22. Yum - Love the pea mash too!

  23. I love saltimboca! I like your description that it's a Vespa kind of a dish, too :) The pea mash looks wonderful.

  24. Comfort food heaven. I haven't made any one of the 3 things on the plate in a long time, but they look so appealing. In fact, they're enticing enough to make me think of them for dinner tonight.

  25. We're making a simpler version of this tonight with turkey. It's always a hit. This one looks lush.

  26. This is a jiourney down memory lane. Thanks for all your kind comments.

  27. this is still one of my favorite dishes at Italian restaurants. Really, anything with prosciutto gets my vote. ;-)

    It's funny you said chicken kiev though. I never see that around anymore. The last time I had it in a restaurant was about 9 years ago. Thank goodness I learned how to make it myself.

  28. Hola Guapa!!!! Aaaahhh it's so nice to be back at your place :D and hear your "voice"! I have lots of webs to visit and check. So I will take it easy at the begining.
    Saltimbocca sounds great and those peas... I bet they were delicious :D Garden food is the best!

  29. Oh, yeah, we never tend to think of food and fashion as going together and yet .. I do remember Poulet Kiev, and more!

  30. I had forgotten all about mashed peas! Yum! I wonder if my kids would eat them???

  31. Love saltimboca -- there's nothing quite like the combo of flavors. Mine is quite messy compared to yours, so I'll have to practice. As for the peas, I'm jealous that you have them from the garden -- I'd have to go w/the frozen as you suggest. The basil sounds fab w/ them!


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