Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Cushions

I'm always looking for an excuse to eat Prosciutto, and this recipe and sauce is one of my favorites. This photo is from my first time making it without mushrooms, and it was still delightful (n.b. all those fungi-haters out there: I am one too, but love them in this recipe). It's a pretty quick assembly, but do note they need to cook for 30 minutes in the oven. I like to serve it with cous cous, rice, or mashed potatoes because the sauce is so amazing, you'll want to add it onto something.

1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
pinch grated nutmeg
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
4 slices prosciutto
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 small onions or shallots (I've used one small onion when I don't have shallots)
1 1/2 cups button mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon flour
2/3 cup dry white or red wine
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper

1. Put the spinach in a strainer and press out the water with a spoon. In a small bowl, mix with the ricotta and nutmeg and season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Slit each chicken breast through the side and enlarge each cut to form a pocket. Fill with the spinach mixture, wrap each breast tightly with prosciutto,, and secure with a toothpick. Cover and chill in the fridge.

3. Heat a skillet on medium high and add the butter and oil. Brown the chicken breasts for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a large, shallow ovenproof dish (make sure it's large because you'll have lots of sauce!) and keep warm until required.

4. Fry the onions and mushrooms for 2-3 minutes in remaining oil and butter until lightly browned. Stir in the flour, then gradually add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Season to taste and spoon sauce around the chicken.

5. Cook the chicken, uncovered, in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Turn the breasts over and cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove the toothpicks if you care to, and good eating!

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