5 March 2011

Capture Spring with Lemony Chicken Saltimbocca

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.

Serves 4

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  1. I have died and gone to heaven. Val, this looks so good. I can almost taste those lovely springlike flavors playing on my tongue. I love your recipe and your photos today are wonderful. Enjoy your weekend. Blessings...Mary

  2. Ooooh I just saw this on FaceBook Val - the title got me! YUM indeed!

  3. Chicken saltimbocca is one of my favorite Italian recipes. You can't go wrong with prosciutto in anything!

    I'm not holidng my breath for spring yet. In my neck of the woods winter can linger for weeks, giving way to lots of chilly rainy days before summer arrives in full force. Maybe I get a few "spring" days here and there, but they don't hang around long. But at least things do start looking better at the farmer's markets.

  4. I can't wait for those fresh herbs and flowers. I've had to delay too many dishes because herbs weren't available. I'm glad I won't have a long wait to try this recipe because it looks and sounds delicious!


  5. Love the idea of sage, Val. And your photo is spring itself....let's hope winter is gone because it's been a tough year for the north!
    Lemon and chicken adore each other. Frankly, I like lemon on nearly everything except steak!

  6. I am so envious that your nursery is open already! It will be at least another month here before pansies are offered here.

    What a beautiful and delicious dish to celebrate spring's arrive. I am so ready!

  7. Very nice rendition of saltimbocca, Val. Spring is nowhere to be found here, but I am still planting peas... and keeping my fingers crossed. Have a great weekend!

  8. I am SO ready for spring as well but I have yet to see any of my favorite produce yet! I'll just have to live vicariously through you. This lemony dish looks delicious!

  9. Oh, I have visions of Saltimbocca dancing in MY head! I need Spring. Need it!! This sounds great, Val :D

  10. I can still remember the very first time that I tasted Saltimbocca . . . what an unforgettable dish! YUM! And now you've shared it in a way that I don't have to feel so guilty! Thank you Val!

  11. Nice fresh flavours Val...enjoy the change of seasons. I'm so looking forward to red wine and stews!

  12. The weather here is far from Spring. All week it's been cold like winter, and today it was as hot as summer. I wish it would make up its mind!

  13. Definitely spring-like! A wonderful dish. I love those flavors.



  14. This is going to make me splurge on prosciutto.(I pass it up all the time!) Beautiful picture, too.
    We had asparagus th other day; that was my spring hopeful!

  15. Sounds delicious. Spring is nowhere in sight out here. They say it is the worst winter in years. I say they have short memories, probably!

  16. Valli this look absolutely spring time dear! look nice! and love your plate! xx gloria

  17. YAY for Spring and your recipe!
    Love your dinnerware Val.

  18. Happy Spring, Val! Your lovely chicken dish is a perfect way to welcome it, too. It looks wonderful!

  19. Looks great - I love the fresh burst of flavour that saltimbucca delivers. It won't be long now before it is time to fire up the grill outside . . .

  20. I really like the lemony flavor you added to this dish. Nice job!

  21. well, i thought spring was on its way, then it snowed yesterday. boo!
    lovely dish, though--very bright and refreshing and tasty, to be sure. :)

  22. Wow, Val this is just beautiful!

  23. Love all that sage tucked in there. I'm going to put this on the menu later this week.

  24. This is one perfect meal you've prepared. The pairings are just what my menu ordered ;o)

    Flavourful wishes,

  25. I made chicken saltimbocca recently and we loved it...your version looks wonderful.

  26. tasting Spring again, eh? It is still shoulder deep in snow here... big large flakes and I am so tired of it. I wished Vanja liked lemon on his meat or in his desserts. He continually cramps my style!!! :) This is a brilliant rendition of this traditional dish that I love - though I don't eat meat. I am definitely keeping this is mind for my next gal luncheon!


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