Monday, August 27, 2007

I Am Definitely Pro-Sciutto

Something that seems to happen to me a lot is that I will go food shopping, buy an array of produce, meat and other items that could constitute the ingredients of something delicious, and then fall in love with a recipe that calls for none of them and back to market I must go.

It’s my on fault, I know. I stalk, and just DARING them to show me something that somehow manages to include none of the ingredients I just bought. And wouldn’t you know they always rise to the challenge.

In any case, I took a new tactic last week. Adam and I had invited our friends the Micalones over for dinner on Saturday night and I decided that instead of torturing myself trying to find the perfect recipe, I would buy a few staple ingredients I knew everyone liked and then base whatever I made on that.

So when I went food shopping that week I picked up some boneless skinless chicken breasts, prosciutto, mozzarella, basil and an array of fresh veggies. At first I thought I would try a prosciutto wrapped chicken breast recipe I had used before that always came out lovely, but then on Saturday morning I happened upon this bit of loveliness and decided, you know what? That’s PERFECT!

Of course as luck would have it my camera battery died before I started dinner so there will be no photographic awesomeness as usual. But still, this recipe is fantastic even without my poorly lit photographs

Grilled Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Prosciutto, Mozzarella and Basil (from

1 small bottle Italian salad dressing
6 prosciutto slices
1 teaspoon coarse-grained mustard
8 fresh basil leaves
1 cup freshly grated mozzarella
6 skinless boneless whole chicken breast

Marinate chicken in Italian dressing for at least 2 hours.

Prepare grill.

On a work surface spread prosciutto slices evenly with mustard. Top slices with basil leaves and sprinkle evenly with mozzarella.

Starting with a short end roll up each prosciutto slice.

Pat chicken dry and put on a work surface, skinned sides down. Remove "tender" (fillet strip located on either side of where breast bone was) from each breast half, keeping rest of chicken breast intact, and reserve tenders for another use. (There should be 1 tender from each breast half.)

To form a long thin pocket in chicken for prosciutto roll: Put chicken breast halves on cutting board and, beginning at thicker end of breast half, horizontally insert a thin sharp knife three fourths of the way through center of each. Open cut to create a 1-inch-wide pocket in each half. Fit a prosciutto roll into each pocket and season chicken with salt and pepper. (My not: It's okay to just squish it in there, if it doesn't stay perfectly rolled don't worry about it.)

Grill chicken on a lightly oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals until cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side. (Alternatively, chicken may be grilled in a hot well-seasoned ridged grill pan over moderately low heat.)

What I like most about is the review section for each recipe. The original recipe did not call for marinating the chicken at all but a lot of the reviews commented on how the chicken was MUCH more flavorful after having been marinated. This dish ended up being a big hit, was a cinch to prepare (I stuffed the chicken shortly before my quests arrived so I could just throw them on the grill when we were ready to eat). I served it along side pasta salad and for dessert, ice cream pie (vanilla ice cream semi-melted and poured into a store bought Oreo pie crust then re-frozen for a few hours. To serve I just drizzled with one of those bag of frozen mixed berries that I had reheated on the stove with some Splenda)

I would definitely serve this again. It has the taste of something that too all day to prepare but the ease of a dish that takes less than an hour (not including marinating time).

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