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I am always on the look out for chicken dishes that are quick and easy to make. I am a no fuss, no muss kind of a person.
I used to do a lot of fiddling about with food when I worked as a personal Chef, and I was being paid to do so, but in my private life, quick and easy is what I like to cook and eat most of the time.
You can call me lazy if you want to, but I just don’t like to faff about a lot when it comes to every day eating. I would rather save my efforts for celebratory meals or holidays. I hope I am not alone in that.
Today’s recipe is one that I had printed out back in 2007, which I had found on a site which was then called Recipezaar. I used to go on Recipezaar a lot. It was a lovely recipe sharing site and there were loads of really nice people on there.
I got to make friends in real life with a number of them and actually met a few in person. Great people. It is no longer called Recipezaar, and has lost a lot of its charm.
The original owners sold out to a larger company for a great deal of money I believe, and in the process something was lost. It was no longer the friendly community it had once been. In all honesty, I can say I haven’t been on there in a very long time. Its a shame really.
I don’t know why these large companies always want to change what is already working well. I suppose at the end of the day it is all down to money and profits.
I personally think that when you take the humanity out of things, you lose something very special. But hey ho, who am I. Just a normal person, and but a tiny drop in a gargantuan ocean.
Anyways, back to this very simple and delicious chicken recipe. It was one I had found there in 2007 and that I had enjoyed. I had saved the printout in my Big Blue Binder and as you know, only the best recipes get saved into that.
For those of you who don’t know, my Big Blue Binder has travelled all over the world with me since I was a very young girl. It is a collection of family recipes, tried and trues, etc. It is priceless.
Last year when I left the UK to move back to Canada, I had to leave almost everything I owned behind, including all of my cookbooks. My Big Blue Binder came with me however. There was no way I was leaving that behind!
I am so very grateful that I had enough forethought at the time to think to include it in what I was bringing. It would have been a real tragedy had I not done so. Like Recipezaar, something really special would have been lost.
This is one of my favorite chicken dishes to make. You can see the original recipe here. I haven’t really changed it all that much, with the exception of cooking things a tiny bit differently, adding a bit of spice and white wine instead of stock.
I also cut it down to serve only two people. If you want to serve more, by all means check out the original recipe.
You don’t need a lot of fancy ingredients to make it, although prosciutto is certainly not a normal every day ingredient to be sure. It is however a lot more available these days than it used to be.
We are living in a much smaller world than our parents lived in and have an abundance of new and delicious foods to try and to use. Prosciutto is one of them.
Prosciutto is an Italian ham which is cured by drying. Traditionally served in very thin slices, it has a lovely flavor which goes well on its own and with many other things, including chicken.
It is uncooked, but you can eat it as is because it has been preserved by drying. It is great on a chacuterie tray. It has a sweet and meaty flavor, and is slightly salty with a lovely bit of soft buttery fat on the edge that practically melts in the mouth.
I like to pound my chicken a bit before I cook it. I just use the flat end of a meat pounder and give it a few bashes. I then seasoned it all over with salt and pepper.
Remember prosciutto is salty so you won’t need a lot of salt, but pepper you can go crazy with! Or as crazy as you want to. I happen to like lots of pepper.
The original recipe did not call for pounding the chicken, but I find that it really helps to tenderize chicken breasts if you do so. Once you have pounded them, you dust them in some flour.
I added some paprika for color and some garlic powder for flavor. I can’t leave well enough alone, I know.
The breasts then get fried in a bit of melted butter until they are golden brown on both sides. I find that about 6 minutes on the first side works well, and then 4 on the second.
Once you have browned your chicken its as simple as putting it into a casserole dish and layering on a few more ingredients.
First a slice of that delicious prosciutto. Oh boy . . . it adds a lovely saltiness and helps to protect the chicken from drying out in the oven.
Next you add a slice of Swiss cheese. I love the sweet nutty flavor of Swiss cheese. It works very well here.
Gruyere would also work well as would a nice melty gouda or provolone.
On top of that you sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese. Again, a bit salty so do be judicious when seasoning your chicken.
The chicken gets place into a shallow baking dish and dotted with some butter. I know . . . but its not a lot of butter and there is no skin on the chicken. Butter just adds a nice nuttiness to the dish.
I pour a bit of white wine around the chicken in the baking dish, which imparts yet another layer of flavor. Always use a wine you wouldn’t mind drinking. If it is a wine you enjoy drinking, then it is a wine that will work well with your dish.
It annoys me when people use the cheapest plonk they can find in their cooking. If you wouldn’t drink it, then perhaps you shouldn’t be cooking with it either!
A short period of time in the oven and voila! You have a delicious main course created with very few ingredients and even less effort! You can’t lose!
I served it with some oven roasted vegetables (new potatoes, carrots, cauliflower) and some yellow and green beans I had picked up at the market. This was all very delicious. I think you are going to really like it!
On a side note, are there any recipes in particular that you would like to see me cut down to size for the smaller family? I really want to know!
Chicken with Prosciutto & Cheese
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 30 MinTotal time: 35 Min
This elegant but simple dish is perfectly built for two. Quick and easy to make, you have tender and juicy chicken with beautiful flavors.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 tsp sweet paprika
pinch garlic powder
2 TBS flour
2 TBS butter
2 slices of prosciutto
2 slices of Swiss cheese (can also use gruyere)
2 TBS Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup (60ml) white wine (alternately you can use chicken stock)
Pound your chicken lightly and season all over with salt and black pepper. (Remember prosciutto is salty.)Mix the flour, paprika and garlic powder together in a small bag. Shake the chicken pieces in this to coat.
Preheat the oven to 350*F/180*C/ gas mark 4. Have ready a casserole dish large enough to hold pieces of chicken.
Melt 1 TBS of the butter in a skillet with a heavy bottom over medium high heat. Once it begins to foam, add the chicken pieces top side down and brown, about 6 to 8 minutes, flip over and brown the other side, a further 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to your casserole dish.
Top each piece of chicken with a slice of prosciutto. Place a slice of cheese on top. of the prosciutto. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on last. Dot with the remaining tablespoon of butter.
Pour the white wine into the dish around the chicken.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese has melted and begun to turn golden. Let stand for five minutes then serve with some of the casserole juices spooned over top.
This content (written and photography) is the sole property of The English Kitchen. Any reposting or misuse is not permitted. If you are reading this elsewhere, please know that it is stolen content and you may report it to me at: mariealicejoan at aol dot com
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