Lemony Chicken Saltimbocca
Spring is on it's way isn't it? Here in the Northern Hemisphere we are waiting with baited breath for a wiff of fresh Spring air. My local greenhouse opens today and I will be one of the first ones in line ready to put pansies and primroses out on my patio. I long to curl my toes in the sand on my favourite local beach or sit on the patio with a cooling drink. Spring is when everything seems to come alive!!!!! The days are longer and the markets begin to burst with the colours of the bountiful fruits and vegetables of the season. This is the time to enjoy fresh rhubarb, sweet garden peas and furled fiddleheads . It is the season for asparagus and escarole and a wide variety of lettuce handplucked from the garden for green salads. The delightful fragrance of chives, mint, chervil and tarragon fill the air to season your dishes. All of these tastes of Spring are bursting from our gardens, forests, markets and window boxes...soon....sigh.....
Teanna of Spork and Foon says, "The advantages to cooking with fresh, seasonal ingredients are endless. The produce tastes richer, fresher, and is more nutritious. The beauty of cooking with ingredients that are freshest in the Spring months are their pure simplicity. The standout flavours are the fresh, natural ingredients themselves... the sweet taste of a carrot or the pop of a freshly shelled pea. Toss arugula with cherries, red wine vinegar, a touch of extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, and thyme with some creamy goat cheese and you will have a dynamic spring starter. Top poached halibut with an orange vinaigrette and serve with asparagus sautéed in a bit of olive oil and topped with a dash of sea salt and shaved parmesan cheese or sauté fresh peas with spring onions in butter and delicate chervil for a side that is surprising ripe with flavor."
With visions of warmer days thoughts of fresh herbs and sage bring to mind Saltimbocca, one of the most classic of Roman dishes. The name literally translates as "hop in the mouth". You can never have too many of these veal or chicken cutlets topped with prosciutto and sage for my liking. Since this Cooking Light recipe was served for lunch I served it simply on a bed of spinach for lighter faire, but, it would be equally delicious served over a bed of angel hair pasta or polenta to catch all the sauce. The only thing I would change would be to pound the chicken breast fairly thinly. Not only does this speed the cooking process but seems to concentrate the flavours.
**Lemony Chicken Saltimbocca**
adapted from Cooking Light
4 (4-ounce) chicken cutlets
1/8 teaspoon salt
12 fresh sage leaves
2 ounces very thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into 8 thin strips
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
Lemon wedges (optional)
Sprinkle the chicken evenly with salt. Place 3 sage leaves on each cutlet; wrap 2 prosciutto slices around each cutlet, securing sage leaves in place.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add chicken to pan; cook for 2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.
Combine broth, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture and the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil to pan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook for 1 minute or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly with a whisk. Spoon sauce over chicken. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.
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