I’ve been away recently and haven’t really had the chance to cook anything or eat anything particularly healthy. In fact during my trip away, I proceeded to eat more fast food than I have done in the past ten years! I was also visiting a city where pork was not served in any of the restaurants, so on my return I sought to satisfy my cured pork cravings.
The first morning back, I made an open bacon and egg sandwich with crispy smoked bacon rashers. Then in the evening I went for prosciutto wrapped chicken breasts with asparagus, and some pesto fusilli served on the side. This dish totally hit the spot; the salty prosciutto led itself as the perfect seasoning for the chicken.
If you cook the dish right you get crispy ham on the outside, a stretch of mozzarella and then succulent chicken on the inside. I know I worry about cooking chicken just right, the sight of raw chicken in the middle of a juicy breast is very off putting. But remember, when you pound the chicken, its flatter and will therefore cook much faster. In fact I think I could have got away with one minute less than the time I used.
If you don’t like asparagus you could serve this dish with another vegetable like strips of pan fried courgettes, green beans or fresh summer peas. Just toss them in a bit of olive oil and lemon after cooking to give it a fresh zing!
½ ball Mozzarella, sliced
2 Chicken breasts
4 slices Prosciutto di Parma
handful of Asparagus, trimmed
1 cup of Pasta, cooked and tossed in ½ tbsp green Pesto
a bit of Parmesan to serve
1 tsp dried Oregano
Take a long piece of cling film and place two prosciutto slices on it side by side, slightly overlapping. Leave a gap of about 5-10 cm and do the same with the other two slices. Place one chicken breast over the 2 slices, season with salt, pepper and a bit of oregano. Add a couple of slices of mozzarella and then wrap the edges of the prosciutto around the chicken to cover it. Do the same with the other chicken breast.
Now over the cling film and wrap it tightly around the chicken so all the bits inside don’t fall out. At this point you can separate the two breast pieces. Place the chicken on something sturdy and take a rolling pin or meat tenderiser and start bashing the chicken to flatten it out. The best thing about having it all wrapped up and ready to go means that it’s a lot easier to take out the package to cook, and while you’re bashing it, the breast is soaking up the flavour of the things around it. You can also prepare this in advance by putting the wrapped breast in the fridge until you need to cook it.
You want your chicken to be evenly flattened until it’s roughly 1cm thick, don’t worry if some bits are no longer covered with the ham. Heat a large frying pan with a bit of oil, and pan fry each side for 3-3 ½ minutes until ham is crispy and only starting to caramelise.
Lay on your vegetables of choice, sprinkle with grated parmesan and a squeeze of lemon. Enjoy. :)