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Easy Chicken Saltimbocca

If you do not have a meat pounder or a suitable heavy pan, you can use a rolling pin to pound the chicken with equally good results.

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts halves, about 1 1/2 lb. total
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. fresh sage, chopped
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 8 thin slices fontina cheese, about 3 oz. total
  • 4 large thin slices prosciutto or boiled ham, cut in half, about 2 oz. total
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1/2 cup Marsala or chicken broth
  • 1/2 lemon

Directions:

Prepare the chicken
Preheat a broiler.

Using a sharp knife, cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise to make 8 pieces total. Place 1 piece between 2 sheets of waxed paper. Using a meat pounder or the flat bottom of a heavy pan, lightly pound the chicken until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Repeat with the remaining pieces. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with the sage, patting firmly so it adheres to the meat.

Cook the chicken
In a large fry pan (or 2 medium pans) over medium-high heat, melt 3 Tbs. of the butter. Add the chicken and cook until golden underneath, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook until just opaque throughout, about 3 minutes more. Top each piece with 1 cheese slice and 1 prosciutto slice. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet and place under the broiler to melt the cheese and crisp the prosciutto, about 1 minute.

Make the sauce
While the chicken is in the oven, add the remaining 1 Tbs. butter to the pan(s). Add the shallots and sauté until softened, about 1 minute. Add the Marsala and cook, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the pan bottom, until the sauce is slightly reduced, 1 to 2 minutes. Squeeze in about 1 tsp. lemon juice and stir. Divide the chicken among individual plates, spoon the sauce and shallots over the chicken, and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Simple Suppers, by Melanie Barnard (Oxmoor House, 2007).