Monday, September 24, 2007

Chicken Breasts Wrapped in Proscuitto and stuffed with boursin

This is quite standard fare in our house and we have it quite often. It is not super exciting but it is yummy, very easy to do and you can make it look quite attractive. I alternate between serving it on a pile of mashed potatoes with some sautéed leeks or for a slightly more sophisticated version I make a saffron-infused risotto and place it in a metal ring and balance the sliced chicken on top.

Ingredients for 2 servings.:

• 1 chicken breast per person
• 2 slices of parma ham or proscuitto per person
• Boursin cheese (garlic and herb) or something similar
• Fresh Basil
• 1 clove chopped garlic
• 2 sun dried tomatoes chopped fine

For sauce version 1:

• 1 level tbsp plain flour
• 50ml White wine
• 50ml Chicken stock

For sauce version 2:

• 50ml marsala sherry

Please chicken breast on wooden chopping board and whilst pressing down flat with the palm of your hand use a small knife to either hollow out a ‘pocket’ or cut open a flap. Do not cut through the breast.

Mix boursin with the garlic and chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Stuff the pocket with a good sized knob of the mixture and a basil leaf or two.

Place two slices of ham together on a board, place breast on top of ham and roll tightly around the chicken breast. (Parma / proscuitto ham is expensive in Dubai so if you only want to use one slice per breast place ham on a diagonal and roll around breast that way.)

Using olive oil grease a baking dish, place chicken in dish, cover with foil and place in oven (375F/190C) for 40mins.

Remove foil after 20 mins

After 35 mins pour off any juices from the dish into a small saucepan, put chicken back in oven.

For sauce version 1: With the saucepan over a medium-low heat whisk in 1 heaped tsp plain flour, add the white wine and whisk again. Add homemade chicken stock, (keep whisking) until sauce is the right consistency. Check for seasoning. Go easy on the salt because the ham is already quite salty.

For sauce version 2: pour marsala sherry into a saucepan with pan juices. Heat over medium heat and reduce by half. That’s it!

Remove chicken from oven, slice each breast in two width-ways (I like to do this on a slight diagonal as it looks better). Place on top of what you are serving it with, pour some sauce over the breast and serve.

If serving with mash and leeks:

Sauté some thinly sliced leeks in butter. Mash potatoes with butter and a little double cream (I also like to add some finely chopped spring onions).

Place a mound of potatoes in middle of a plate, pile some leeks on top of potatoes. Arrange the two pieces of the breast on top of the vegetables, pour over sauce and serve.

If serving with risotto:

Make a basic risotto with onions, garlic, Arborio rice etc. Use wine and chicken stock. I like to add some strands of saffron for the colour.

When the risotto is just about cooked add about 1 tbsp of mascarpone cheese to make it all delicious and creamy.

Using a metal kitchen ring (about 10cms diameter) place risotto in middle of plate and press down a little to make a firm, round ‘tower’ of rice. Arrange two pieces of chicken breast on top of rice, pour sauce over and serve.

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