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Chicken with Sage and Prosciutto

Chicken with Sage and Prosciutto
Very little effort is needed to prepare this dish, and it is an easy recipe to double for a large group. The pleasant mustiness of the sage permeates the chicken hot from the oven. Any leftovers are delicious served cold the next day, when the distinctive flavor of the prosciutto predominates.

Ingredients:

  • 6 chicken breast halves, each about 6 oz.
  • 6 chicken drumsticks, each about 4 oz.
  • 6 chicken thighs, each about 5 oz.
  • 18 thin slices prosciutto
  • 18 fresh sage leaves, plus sage sprigs for garnish
  • 1 1/2 to 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Rinse the chicken pieces and pat dry with paper towels. Trim the excess fat from the prosciutto, then cut the slices to the dimensions of the chicken pieces.

Carefully slide your fingers under the skin on each chicken piece, separating it from the meat but leaving it attached on one side. Place a slice of prosciutto directly on the meat and top it with a sage leaf. Carefully pull the skin back in place and press gently with your palm to secure it.

Arrange the chicken pieces in 1 or 2 shallow baking dishes or in a roasting pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Brush the skin with the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.

Roast until the skin is brown and crispy, and the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced at the thickest part with a fork, about 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Transfer the chicken pieces to a warmed platter and garnish with sage sprigs. Serve immediately.
Serves 10 to 12.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Everyday Roasting, by Janeen Sarlin (Time-Life Books, 1998).