Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chicken Saltimbocca

I’d never heard of this dish but after seeing it on three different blogs so far this month, I decided it was a must try, and with the low fat meats, Bev thought it would be okay for her diet. I was originally planning to side mine with pasta using the same sauce as the on the chicken, then I saw a post containing polenta, of which I'm a fan. As it turns out, I’d been thinking of cooking some grits or mush for frying up for breakfast, so the pasta got swapped for the mush – I think cornmeal mush is American speak for polenta, which obviously sounds better.

If you’ve never cooked grits, mush, polenta, etc, it's a dish that requires constant stirring or it will stick. I’ve found that a spoon with a flat side on it works well for this.

For the chicken, I used the process from Ann over at Thibeaults Table because it finishes the chicken in the oven where I could insert a probe thermometer to ensure I get the temp I want and I could make the sauce while it finished cooking. For the sauce, I used the one that seemed to be standard for this dish and made double so I’d have enough for the polenta. Rather than buy pretty ones, I just used the sage leaves we had in the herb bed, but they’re small in the winter, so I had to totally wrap the breasts with the prosciutto to keep them in position. I served it up with the cheesy mush and a wedge of lettuce with homemade 1000 Island. Totally wrapping it didn’t make for as pretty a picture as the others, but it was tasty.

We all enjoyed it but thought we'd cut back on the lemon in the sauce next time.

A couple of weeks ago Catherine over at The South In My Mouth, posted about using an old wooden mallet as her meat pounder and I thought I needed one of those. We have a small mallet with teeth on both sides that is good for tenderizing a piece of beef, but sorta of shreds a chicken breast, so I'd been thinking we needed to buy a smooth faced one. A few days latter, the little light bulb flashes in my mind, and I remembered the hard rubber mallet laying down in my toolbox that’s only been used a couple of times in 20 years. So I washed it up real good and it worked perfectly for these chicken breasts - it’s now the new kitchen meat mallet.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.



  1. It is so good to hear someone tell it like it is! Cornmeal mush is polenta. Everytime some "new" food craze comes along I just grin to myself about the discovery. When I was younger, you could get fish really cheap until it was declared a healthy meat replacement. Now I can barely afford it. Chicken wings were practically given away at food markets. Now they are a high price item for what you get. When eggs were declared bad for you, I relished the low prices and enjoyed my bounty. Same with butter. Well that has changed, too. And this skirt steak - give me a break! Cows have always had this in them - just not marketed as such. Hopefully, no one will put chicken livers or calves liver on their advertising agenda and jack up their prices more than inflation has already.

  2. Just last night I was reading an old cookbook I dug out and a recipe caught my eye that said to serve it with fried mush. After a short discussion Bob and I assumed it was grits. So timely to read your post this moring, as I was going to email you to ask. We think this cookbook is from the 30's. Your chicken looks pretty fancy! I've heard of the recipe but never made it. Now I think I'll go dig out Bob's rubber mallet from his tool chest...probaby used once in the last 20 years.

  3. Cornmeal mush is a fantastic dish Larry. After you cook it, you can put it in the refrig overnight in a loaf pan, slice it in the morning and "fry" it for breakfast. That's good eats, but very old fashioned, Joy of Cooking style food.

    I too have seen chicken saltimbocca on several blogs lately. Prosciutto is a favorite in our kitchen.

  4. Chicken Saltimbocca is one of my favorite Italian dishes! Funny that I've never actually made it. :) I like the idea of finishing it off in the oven too...that's what I do with my chicken parmigiana!

  5. Polenta is my current favorite side dish, especially when I add some sharp cheddar. And what could be better than a crisp slice of iceberg and homemade dressing. Yummy dinner, Larry.

  6. I love chicken saltimbocca... serving it with polenta is a fantastic idea.

  7. The tool box is a good place to find things for use in the kitchen, like a cat's paw to separate steaks after they've been frozen. Hubby has a framing hammer with a lightly textured head which works well on chicken, too. I've made this kind of chicken, and it's divine!

  8. Cornmeal mush was a fave when I was a kid. My mom would fry it up for us once in awhile and we poured maple syrup over it. So cornmeal mush = polenta!....a rose by any other name...

    Love chicken saltimbocca!

    The Kitchen Gnome is eyeing your deck! Wow!

  9. Larry, Let's face it, the prosciutto had to make a big difference with the chicken breast...flavor city and added moisture too! We made some mush last year...solid form...and then fried it up for breakfast and served it with butter & maple syrup. Cheesey mush sounds pretty interesting. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  10. I love the mallet idea, Larry. It really would be great for chicken. Have you ever tried using Meyer lemons in your sauces? Some folks find them less harsh. I hope you and Bev have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  11. Chicken Saltimbocca is a great dish! It seems I saw it in one of the food magazines recently which may be why it is appearing on so many blogs.

    Lemon can be overpowering sometimes in recipes so I'm with Mary on the Meyers, but they are sometimes hard to come by.

    Have a great week!

  12. Hi Larry, Great idea for a meat pounder... I've never thought of that.... Thanks!!!

    I've read several blogs recently talking aobut Chicken Saltimbocca also. It just be really good...

    Thanks for sharing.

  13. I've seen numerous blogs with a recipe like this lately, so I've been wanting to try it too. I think I'd be like you and prefer less lemon too; it's usually too strong in some dishes for us.
    Great job Larry.

  14. This sounds very tasty, Larry. Funny about the side - I've been eating polenta for years and never knew that much about it. Thanks for the info. My meat mallet has a smooth side, which is good . . . I'm pretty sure Dana would be sore at me if I put his rubber mallet in the dishwasher. :)

  15. It looks fabulous, Larry, job well done! I've seen those too and have been itching to try my hand at making them.

    My rubber mallet has been used quite a bit more (furniture assemble, wood floors, etc) and there is no "just cleaning it up". But a great tip, perhaps I'll just pick up a new one.

  16. I am making the chicken saltimbocca again tonight. Glad you tried it.


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