AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: May I take your order? (Recipe: Chicken Saltimbocca) DATE: 8/09/2009 03:29:00 PM ----- BODY:

We aim to please here in the Shanks household. Come for dinner, tell us what you'd like to eat. Chicken? No problem. Would you like that with a European accent, Latin or Asian? With cheese, you say? Okay. And risotto? Sure.

Such was the conversation last Wednesday evening when I invited a friend over for dinner. Some days, I just can't find inspiration to create a menu. It was just as easy to have my friend decide rather than figure it out myself.

It took a few minutes to come up with a cohesive plan. Chicken Saltimbocca with Mushroom Risotto fit the bill perfectly. Better still, I could use some sage from the garden which has come back with a vengeance.

Chicken Saltimbocca

4 chicken breast cutlets, skin on.
1 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
4 slices prosciutto
1 bunch fresh sage, leaves picked
3 cloves garlic, sliced.
1 tbs. plain oil
1 shallot, diced
1/2 cup sherry
2 tbs. butter
salt and pepper to taste.

1. Heat oil in sauté pan. Add sage leaves. Fry for 2 minutes, or until they begin to get crispy. Add garlic, and continue frying for 1 minute, or until garlic begins to turn brown. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper.

2. Over center of each chicken breast, season with salt and pepper and layer mozzarella, proscuitto and 1/8 of sage garlic mixture. Fold over to seal in filling.

3. Put chicken in an oven proof pan. Broil under a high heat until the skin blisters and turns golden, about 10 minutes (but keep a close eye). Turn the oven to bake and continue baking for another 5 minutes or until it's cooked through

4. When chicken is finished cooking, let it rest. To the chicken pan, add shallots and sherry. Bring wine to a boil over high heat, swirl in whole butter, and remove pan from heat.

5. Slice chicken into medallions, and serve with pan juices. Garnish with remaining fried sage and garlic.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:OpenID lydiatheperfectpantry DATE:8/09/2009 11:13:00 PM What a great idea to let your guests decide the menu! Do you let them help cook, too? I love that level of relaxation in the kitchen. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Steve DATE:8/10/2009 09:06:00 AM I admire your ability to cook on the fly like this. I'm trying to get better at being more spontaneous in the kitchen, but still regularly find myself shopping to a menu, and not just "creating" with what I have on-hand. This recipe looks great, I'm sure my young chefs are going to love it. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types DATE:8/10/2009 09:23:00 AM You're brave and talented, all at the same time. I'd be really afraid what my guests would come up with! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:8/11/2009 08:30:00 AM Lydia -- No.... though he did grate the parmesan.

Steve -- Shopping to a menu has its virtues too - I'm sure you waste less!

T.W. -- You can always ignore the parts you don't like. I almost ignored his request for risotto before I could come up with a cohesive plan. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Psychgrad DATE:8/11/2009 08:59:00 PM I stress so much about what to make, I don't know that I would be confident enough to give my guests a choice and still have a good product. But, this looks delicious.

I have a really hard time with stuffed chicken. I usually need a tonne of toothpicks to keep the chicken closed (even if I pound them flat). What's the trick?

I just did my Random Acts of Kindness post! As far as I'm concerns, you're welcome to be a recipient and can count your previous acts of kindness as having passed on the acts. ----- --------