I try to keep things simple on my blog since it is entitled “Dorm Cooking” and a lot of fancy stuff isn’t readily available. However, even though I’m still in school I’ve moved to a place (with the same sized kitchen) that’s conveniently located to some great grocery stores (Loblaws, Sobeys). Sometimes I’ll pick up stuff I consider “gourmet” to cook with. It’s neat cause since I live so close to them I can grab a very small quantity, experiment and come back later for more if I like it.
I was at Loblaws today and saw some Italian prosciutto that wasn’t much more expensive than the other deli meats that I buy. I’d read about people on websites such as Tastespotting baking their chicken breasts wrapped in prosciutto so it gets that delicious ham-y flavour. So I bought 3 slices just to try it out (it only cost me $1.14 CAD). Prosciutto is a very strong smelling cured ham that looks like very thin, papery, translucent slices of bacon. It’s also very sticky and the fat on it has the consistency of clay so it’s a little bit inconvenient to work with.
I realize this is an ingredient you may not find at your local university deli but hey, try asking. Or pick some up when you do your big monthly grocery shop. If you want to make this NOW and can’t get prosciutto, you could work with bacon but bacon is a lot smokier than prosciutto. I had never worked with prosciutto before but this was one of the easiest recipes I’ve made up and it was also one of the most delicious ones.
2 slices of prosciutto (italian, preferably)
1 chicken breast
Seasoning of your choice
Wash and clean the chicken breast and butterfly it. Butterfly means to cut it lengthwise so it’s split in half and looks like a butterfly. You could use both pieces of chicken but I found that one was more than sufficient. This is optional, but I like my chicken to cook thoroughly so I lay it flat on a chopping board, cover it with cling film and smash it with a chicken smasher or a small but heavy pan. It flattens the chicken and makes the meat equally thick everywhere so it cooks equally. After you’ve done this, season your chicken with garlic and ginger and any other seasoning you like – taco, montreal, etc. I used a souvlaki dry rub. Add pepper to your taste. This recipe doesn’t call for salt because the prosciutto is already very salty.
Once your chicken breasts have marinated as long as you want (anywhere between 15 minutes to overnight), pull out your prosciutto and lay two slices flat on a chopping board. Make sure they are touching each other. Place the chicken vertically on the horizontal strips and wrap. Put this on a lightly greased (the fat in the prosciutto melts much like bacon and cooks the chicken) baking tray. Bake the chicken for about 15-20 minutes until the prosciutto is crisp and the chicken is cooked through. To check if your chicken is cooked, make a small snip at the thickest part of your chicken with a pair of kitchen scissors. If it’s pink inside, it needs a couple of more minutes.
Serve this with any side you like. I did a side of garlic-parsley fried mushrooms and buttered green beans, broccoli and asparagus with some salt and pepper. This would taste great with a ratatouille, some pasta in red sauce or alfredo, roast potatoes with parsley or even with some sort of vegetarian casserole. It’s a great delicious recipe that you can try out for a weekend meal (even though it’s easy enough to be a weekday meal.)