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Baked Chicken Saltimbocca

Serves 6

Saltimbocca is Italian for “jump in your mouth” which when you think of it is not something you’d like a chicken to do. Saltimbocca [sahl-tihm-BOH-kuh]is an ancient Roman recipe of chicken or veal, sage, prosciutto and mozzarella. The “jump in your mouth” comes from the earthy flavor of sage and the saltiness of the prosciutto (cured ham). The “jump in your mouth” of the café version of this classic is the sage stuffing with Italian sausage and the Sauce Viktor. Sauce Viktor is my Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, which, by the way, caused a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America to sigh after tasting. There is no higher compliment for a sauce.

Brining solution

  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 qt water

-3 chicken breasts, skinned, boned and halved lengthwise
-Sage stuffing
-6 slices smoked ham, thinly sliced
-6 slices Mozzarella cheese

Dissolve salt and sugar in one qt. of warm water
Soak the chicken in the brine for 1 – 1 ½ hours
Remove from brine, rinse well and pat dry with paper towel
Place chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap and gently pound with a mallet or ruling pin to ½ inch thickness
Using a spatula spread sage stuffing over top of chicken breast
Bake in a 400° oven for 20 minutes – time may vary with your oven
Place slice of ham on chicken and cover with Mozzarella
Continue baking until cheese has begun to melt – or broil until cheese is golden brown
Serve with Sauce Viktor

Sage Stuffing

  • 1 cup Italian sausage cooked and diced
  • 1 small onion - diced
  • 1 celery stalk - diced
  • 3 cloves garlic finely minced or use a garlic press
  • 2 tbsp fresh sage finely chopped
  • 2 cups cubed stuffing bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • ½ cup Chicken stock

In a sauté pan over medium heat cook sausage breaking into crumbles
Remove sausage to a bowl lined with paper towel
Wipe out excess grease from pan and return to heat
Add onions and celery to pan and cook over medium heat until soft
Add minced garlic and sage, stir and cook additional minute
Remove onion, celery, garlic, sage mixture to mixing bowl
Add sausage, bread crumbs and eggs
Return sauté pan to heat and add chicken stock using spoon to scrape bottom of pan
Pour chicken stock into mixing bowl and mix well