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Old 09-19-2005, 11:14 AM   #1
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Chicken Saltimbocca with Pesto Sauce

This one sounds interesting. I can't remember where I got it, but I have some homemade pesto and chicken thighs. All I would really need to get is some prosciutto, fontina cheese, and cream.

Chicken Saltimbocca with Pesto Sauce
Serves: 8

For the Pesto:
8 cloves garlic
1 c Italian parsley
1 c fresh basil leaves
1/3 c olive oil
2 T chopped walnuts
2 T freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ t salt
dash of pepper
For the Chicken:
8 large chicken thighs, boned
8 very thin slices fontina cheese, cut to the size of boned and opened chicken thighs
8 very thin slices prosciutto, cut to the size of boned and opened chicken thighs
salt
pepper
For the Sauce:
1 c whipping cream

Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Combine garlic, parsley, basil, olive oil, walnuts, grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender and purée until smooth.
Lay out each chicken thigh, skin side down. Spread each thigh with 2 T pesto (reserve remaining pesto for the sauce) and top with a slice of cheese and a slice of prosciutto. Roll up each thigh to enclose filling and place tightly together, seam side down, in a small, shallow baking dish, about 8 x 8” square. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes.
Whip cream until it is soft and thick, about the consistency of a thin mayonnaise. Fold in the reserved pesto. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and keep the sauce at room temperature until ready for use.
To serve, transfer chicken thighs to a serving platter and top each piece with 2 tablespoons of the room temperature sauce (heating sauce will turn the pesto brown), or pass the sauce at the table.

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Old 09-19-2005, 11:22 AM   #2
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Hey Allen, if you can get your hands on it (as I see you are a professional I hope you can find an access...) try some well aged pecorino instead of parmigiano for the pesto... it is awesome!! another recommended experiment is a mixture of pine nuts and cashew in place of walnuts... try in your leisure time and see if you like it!!
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Old 09-21-2005, 09:20 AM   #3
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Well, I made some pesto the other day with my home-grown basil. It smells great, but I haven't had a chance to use it yet. It's currently frozen in ice cubes in my deep-freezer.

I can't use pine nuts (pignoli), as PeppA, my other half, is allergic. I don't have any decent parmigiano, but I do have a small block of romano, which is what I used.

I'm actually thinking about modifying the recipe slightly, and instead of using the whipping cream mixed with pesto, to make some pasta and toss that with a little of the pesto, then place the chicken onto the pasta. Of course, that would be a violation of the primi/secondi principle.

I was also thinking about altering the layout of the chicken itself. The recipe calls to put the cheese and prosciutto inside the chicken thigh. I was thinking about wrapping the chicken on the outside with the prosciutto. We do that with some veal at work, and it's great.
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