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**
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.